Keith Hunt - A Woman Rides the Beast - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

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A Woman Rides the Beast #2

Seducer of Souls!

A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST

by Dave Hunt


Upon her forehead was a name written... THE MOTHER OF...
ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
-Revelation 17:5

The Church ... teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences
- a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the
authority of the Sacred Councils - should be kept in the Church;
and it condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are
useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them.
-Vatican II

From the very earliest days of the Church there has been a
tradition whereby images of our Lord, his holy Mother, and of
saints are displayed in churches for the veneration of the
faithful ... The practice of placing sacred images in churches so
that they be venerated by the faithful is to be maintained.
-Vatican ll



Seducer of Souls

     "Look at the fruit of the Reformation, with its many
divisions and denominations among the Protestants," is the
frequent cry from Catholic apologists. "How can such confusion be
of God!" The implication is that only Protestants have doctrinal
differences among themselves, while the Roman Catholic Church is
a unity of 980 million (over ONE Billion now in 2007 - Keith
Hunt) faithful adherents who all believe and practice the
same thing. That is, of course, far from the truth. Catholicism
gives a false impression of unity because wide disagreements in
doctrine and practice are retained under its broad cloak. As
Fidelity editor E. Michael Jones, a leading Catholic writer, puts
it, the faithful - "[do not abandon] the Catholic Church ...
[because it] is the only barque of Christ... no matter what waves
of heresy buffet its sides, one is never justified in jumping
ship, not even during the fiercest storms."

Serious Divisions

     As we have already seen, popes disagreed with and
excommunicated one another as heretics (yet those excommunicated
remain on the list of popes today); councils disagreed with one
another and there were even serious differences of opinion within
the same council. There were many dissenters at the Council of
Trent - a council which did not represent the mind of
the Church at large, yet remains the major fount of official
dogma today. At Vatican I many bishops were opposed to papal
infallibility and only later confirmed the vote to spare
themselves the pope's wrath. It was much the same at Vatican II,
with Pope Paul VI smothering opposition.
     The English version of the new Universal Catechism had been
held up for more than a year because of serious differences among
the bishops. Some of these were aired at the November 15-18,
1993, National Conference of Catholic Bishops held in Washington
D.C. Many bishops expressed doctrinal concerns. Archbishop
Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee told the Conference, "There is
enormous unrest and unease about liturgy right now."
     The numerous divisions within the Roman Catholic Church
range all the way from archconservatism to beliefs and practices
of priests and nuns deeply involved in Hinduism or Buddhism to
Hans Kung's liberalism. The latter is so far from Rome's official
party line that in 1979 the Vatican revoked his status as a
theologian. Yet he remains a powerful influence within the
Catholic Church. Or take Fr.Matthew Fox, silenced for one year by
the Vatican but vocal thereafter with views that can only be
called pagan and New Age. Expelled from the Dominican order for
insubordination but not excommunicated from the Church for his
gross heresies, Fox has since become an Episcopalian. A wide
range of other theologians and clergy remain in the Church, from
Maryknoll priests and nuns advocating Marxism and Liberation
Theology to Society of St.Pius X zealots who are scandalized by
John Paul 11's ecumenism.

The Great Schism

     There have been at least as many divisions among Roman
Catholics through the centuries as among Protestants, and there
still are to this very day. Some of these disagreements were
fought with sword and spear. Consider, for example, the Great
Schism when France and Italy struggled for possession of the
lucrative papacy. In 1378, Urban VI, a Neapolitan, became pope.
Trying to effect some much-needed reform, Urban excommunicated
the cardinals who had purchased their benefices. It was a
well-intentioned but politically foolish move. As von Dollinger
explains:

"Simony had long been the daily bread of the Roman Curia and the
breath of its life; without simony the machine must come to a
stand-still and instantly fall to pieces. The Cardinals had, from
their own point of view, ample ground for insisting on the
impossibility of sub-sisting without it. They accordingly
revolted from Urban and elected Clement VII, a man after their
own heart. And thus it came to pass that from 1378 to 1409
Western Christendom was divided into two Obediences."

     In 1409, Pisa was the scene of a synod from all Europe that
was called to heal the breach. It was the first time in 300 years
that those attending such a gathering dared to speak openly and
vote freely. There was a sense of relief, even of triumph when
the two reigning popes, Gregory MI and Benedict XIII, were
deposed as heretics and a third pope, Alexander V, was elected.
Of course neither of the two "popes" yielded to the synod's
decision. Now there were three "vicars of Christ" instead of a
mere two, just as there had been 350 years before. That situation
lasted from 1409-15. 
     Could it be that one of the "abominations" to which this
woman in John's vision would give birth was a man claiming to be
"vicar of Christ," and even worse, three men each claiming to be
Christ's true and only representative on earth, each damning
those who followed either of the other two? Catherine of Siena,
who persuaded Gregory XI, seventh of the Avignon popes, to return
to Rome, is recognized today as a Catholic saint. She was a
staunch supporter of Urban VI, but he is shown on the lists as an
anti-pope.

The Worst Abominations

     Just before her death, Catherine, who had lengthy trances in
which she allegedly saw heaven, purgatory, and hell, received
permission from God (so she said) to allow her "to bear the
punishment for all the sins of the world.... " Yet Christ's
death had already paid the full penalty forsin. Was she excom-
municated as a heretic for such blasphemy? No, she was so admired
for her "sacrifice" that the Roman Catholic Church made her a
saint.
     Five hundred years later the Church would accept the claim
that the sufferings (evidenced by the stigmata bleeding in hands,
feet, and side where Christ was pierced) endured for 50 years by
a monk named Padre Pio were also in payment for the sins of the
world. Pio claimed that more spirits of the dead than living
persons visited him in his monastery cell. The spirits came to
thank him for paying for their sins with his sufferings so they
could be released from purgatory and go to heaven. Other monks
testified that they heard multitudes of voices talking with Padre
Pio at right.

     The Bible, however, repeatedly assures us that Christ
suffered the full penalty for sin: "In whom we have redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7; cf. Colossians 1:14). There
is nothing left for sinners to pay in order to receive the pardon
offered by God's grace. The debt has been paid in full. "It is
finished!" Christ cried in triumphjust before He died upon the
cross (John 19:30). To suggest otherwise is the most serious
heresy.
     John the Baptist hailed Christ as "the Lamb of God which
taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). All others
(including Pio, et a1), being sinners ("all have sinned" Romans
3:23) would have to die for their own sins and therefore could
not also pay for sins of another person. Peter declared that
Christ once for all time "suffered for sins, the just [sinless
one] for [us] the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (I Peter
3:18).
     Yet Catherine of Siena, Padre Pio, and other such "suffering
saints" are revered and prayed to by millions of Catholics,
including the current pope, for having suffered for the sins of
others. They are greater than Christ in the sense that His
suffering leaves good Catholics still in purgatory, whereas Padre
Pio's suffering releases multitudes to heaven. Vatican II
declares that believers have always "carried their crosses to
make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others ... [to]
help their brothers obtain salvation from God... ."

     Such blasphemy is one of the abominations to which the Roman
Catholic Church has given birth and which she still nurtures
today. Can there be any greater abomination than teaching that
sinners for whom Christ paid the full penalty of sin need yet to
"make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others"?

Idols of Thy Abominations

     In the Bible the word "abomination" is a spiritual term
associated with idolatry. God condemned Israel for the "idols of
thy abominations" (Ezekiel 16:36). Occult practices are also
called abominations, along with illicit and perverted sex. Since
the woman astride the beast is "the mother of harlots and
abominations," it seems clear that these evil practices rooted in
Babel will, under Antichrist, characterize the world religion
which this woman represents. She is called the "Mother" of these
things because she has fostered and encouraged them. The
description fits exactly both the history and the present
practice of the Roman Catholic Church.
     The Biblical prohibition against making images for religious
purposes and bowing down before them (and God's abhorrence of
this pagan practice) is clearly set forth in the second of the
Ten Commandments and in numerous other passages of Scripture. For
example: "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image... to bow
down unto it.... Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or
molten image, an abomination unto the Lord" (Leviticus 26:1;
Deuteronomy 27:15). Yet Vatican II commends images in churches
and says they are to be "venerated by the faithful." In Catholic
churches and cathedrals around the world one sees the faithful on
their knees in front of images of this or that "saint," most
often "Mary."
     The second of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Israel
states: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any
likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the
earth beneath.... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor
serve them" (Exodus 20:4,5; cf.Deuteronomy 5:8,9). How does the
Roman Catholic Church get around this clear prohibition? She does
worse than ignore it; she literally hides it from the people.

     The "Ten Commandments" shown in Catholic catechisms leave
out the second commandment prohibiting images and divide the last
one, prohibiting covetousness, into two. It is a flagrant
rejection of a clear command by God. Moreover, that rejection is
dishonestly covered up by pretending the command doesn't exist.
It is a deliberate deception practiced upon the members of the
Church, most of whom know nothing of the Bible except what the
clergy tell them.
     When Emperor Leo 111 issued an edict from Constantinople
calling for forcible baptism of Jews, he was praised. But when,
in 726, he demanded that all images be broken, there was a great
outcry from citizens and clergy. Pope Gregory 11 claimed that
images were not worshiped but reverenced. The truth slipped out,
however, in his letter to the emperor: "But as for the statue of
St.Peter himself, which all the kingdoms of the West esteem as a
god on earth, the whole West would take a terrible revenge [if it
were destroyed]." A bloody war was fought around Ravena over
this issue and a synod in Rome excommunicated all who dared
attack the images.
     Christians had not used images until Constantine became the
"de facto" head of the Church. The door that was opened to
paganism at that time has never been shut. The Church attempted
to accommodate the pagans joining it by retaining their idols
under Christian names. That practice is still part of Santeria,
voodoo, etc. today.
     Catholic apologists insist that veneration is not of the
image itself but of the "saint" it represents. Yet John Paul II
openly promotes the pagan belief that images have power. Recently
at St.Peter's Basilica the Pope declared:

"A mysterious 'presence' of the transcendent Prototype seems as
it were to be transferred to the sacred image.... The devout
contemplation of such an image thus appears as a real and
concrete path of purification of the soul of the believer...
because the image itself, blessed by the priest ... can in a
certain sense, by analogy with the sacraments, actually be
considered a channel of divine grace."


     Such idolatry the Bible repeatedly condemns as spiritual
adultery or fornication! Rome is the "Mother of Harlots" in this
way as well, having led untold millions into idolatry.

Salvation for Sale

     The Roman Catholic Church has been in the business of
selling salvation to the naive, with much of her great wealth
accumulated from that source. And she does this in the name of
the Christ, who offers salvation as a free gift! He told His
disciples, "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8)!
There could be no greater abomination than selling salvation, yet
Rome has never repented of this evil but continues similar
practices to this day.
     Under Pope Leo X (1513-21)-who cursed and excommunicated
Martin Luther - specific prices were published by the Roman
Chancery to be paid to the Church for absolution from each
imaginable crime.
     Even murder had its price. For example, a deacon guilty of
murder could be absolved for 20 crowns. The "anointed
malefactors," as they were called, once pardoned in this way by
the Church, could not be prosecuted by civil authorities.
     Leo's sale of salvation was nothing new. Two hundred years
earlier John XXII (1316-34) had done the same, setting a price
for every crime from murder to incest to sodomy. The more
Catholics sinned the richer the Church became. Similar
fundraising schemes had been in operation for years.
     Innocent VIII (1484-92), for example, had granted the 20
year "Butterbriefe" indulgence. For a certain sum one could
purchase the privilege of eating favorite dishes during Lent and
at other times of fasting. It was a way to be credited with
fasting while indulging oneself in the richest of foods. The
people believed that the popes had such power. After all, wasn't
whatever the vicars of Christ bound or loosed on earth similarly
bound or loosed in heaven? The proceeds from this enterprising
scheme built the bridge over the Elbe. Julius III (1550-5)
renewed this indulgence (for a handsome fee) for another 20 years
after he came to office.
     Leo X tore down Constantine's basilica and built St.Peter's,
largely with monies paid by people who thought they were thereby
gaining forgiveness of sins and entrance to heaven. That
magnificent structure stands as one more piece of evidence that
Rome is the "Mother of abominations."
     As Giovanni de Medici, Leo had been made an abbot at age
seven for his first communion and a cardinal at age 13. Though he
was the youngest cardinal to that time, Pope Benedict IX ascended
to Peter's throne at age ll. Imagine an 11-year-old solemnly
pronouncing forgiveness of sins as Christ's one true
representative on earth! It was Leo X who commissioned the
Dominican Friar Tetzel to sell indulgences, which it was promised
would free those in purgatory or release the purchaser, if bought
in his own name, from having to spend any time in that
intermediate place of torment.
     Tetzel's infamous sales pitch went, "As soon as the coin in
the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs!" How could
anyone be so naive as to believe that the forgiveness of sins for
which Christ had to endure the full wrath of God upon the cross
could be purchased with money? This "God" of Catholicism who
moves in response to whatever regulations a corrupt Church
invents is clearly not the God of the Bible. (It was this
particular abomination of selling salvation that scandalized
Martin Luther and sparked the Reformation.)

     Well-meaning Protestants, wanting to believe the best,
imagine that Roman Catholicism has rid itself of past
abominations, including indulgences. Charles Colson's book "The
Body" contains examples of such incorrect information. Though the
book eloquently speaks much truth, it erroneously presents Roman
Catholicism as Biblical Christianity and calls for union
therewith on the part of evangelicals. Colson writes: "The
Reformers, for example, assailed the corrupt practices of
indulgences; today they [indulgences] are gone (save for the
modern-day equivalent practices by some unscrupulous television
hucksters, ironically mostly Protestants, who promise healing and
blessing for contributions)." 
     We endorse his condemnation of "unscrupulous television
hucksters," but wonder at his incorrect interpretation of Rome. A
major document of Vatican II devotes 17 pages to explaining
indulgences and how to obtain them and excommunicates and damns
any who deny that the Church has the right to grant
indulgences today for salvation. 
     The rules are complex and ludicrous as well as abominable.
Try to imagine God honoring such regulations as granting certain
indulgences "only on set days appointed by the Holy See" or that
a "plenary indulgence, applicable only to the dead, can be gained
in all churches ... on November 2," etc. The entire teaching on
indulgences denies the sufficiency of Christ's redemptive
sacrifice for sins upon the cross. (See Appendix B for further
details.)
     Some ancient indulgences even remain in force today. A
recent notice in "Inside the Vatican" reminded Catholics that on
August 28 and 29, 1994, an unusual opportunity for obtaining a
special indulgence would occur:

"Pope Celestine V gave a Holy Door to the Cathedral of Maria
Collemaggio in his Bull of 29 September, 1294. To obtain this
'perdonanza' indulgence, it's necessary to be in the Cathedral
between 18:00 (6 P.M.) 28 August and 18:00 (6 P.M.) 29 August, to
truly repent of one's sins, and to confess and go to mass and
communion within 8 days of the visit. The Holy Door is open every
year, but this year, 1994, is the 700th anniversary of the Bull
of Pardon. Go there!"

Warning: Reformation Ahead

     Inside the door of the Wittenberg castle church to which
Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses were relics (including an
alleged lock of the Virgin Mary's hair) offering 2 million years
in indulgences to those venerating them according to prescribed
rules. Never has the Roman Catholic Church apologized for having
led multitudes astray in this manner. And how does one apologize
to souls now in hell for having sold them a bogus "ticket to
heaven"?
     For both ingenuity and infamy, no money-grabbing scheme of
the past or of today's unscrupulous television hucksters even
comes close to the sale of indulgences. It provided much cash for
the popes at the time of the Reformation. In A.D.593 Pope Gregory
I had first proposed the unbiblical (but ultimately very
profitable) idea that there was a place called "purgatory"
in which the spirits of the dead suffered in order to be purged
of their sins and fully delivered from "the debt of eternal
punishment." This fabrication was declared to be a Church dogma
by the Council of Florence in 1439 and remains an important part
of Roman Catholicism today.
     It was not such abominable heresies, however, that divided
Roman Catholics. All seemed content with the promise that the
Church would somehow get them to heaven, no matter how repugnant
to common sense and justice the methods were. As Chamberlin has
said, "the eye of faith was blind to the incidental
discrepancies." It was the division caused by rival popes, each
claiming to be in charge of the machinery of salvation, that
stirred the Church to action.
     By deposing all three rivals who each claimed to be the
Vicar of Christ, and then appointing a new pope, Martin V, the
Council of Constance (1414-18) reunited the Church. (See Appendix
D for more details.) Many bishops were convinced that a
reformation was desperately needed. To move the Church toward
reformation, Constance decreed that there should be another
ecumenical council each ten years. Pope Martin V dutifully -

"summoned the Council in 1423 to meet, first at Pavia, then at
Sienna. But the moment any signs of an attempt at reform
manifested themselves, he dissolved it 'on account of the fewness
of those present.' However, shortly before his death, he summoned
the new Council to meet at Basle.
     Martin V's successor, Eugenius IV, could not avoid carrying
out the duty he had inherited from his predecessor, to which he
was already pledged in conclave."

The Struggle for Supremacy

     Eugenius ordered the council disbanded almost immediately
upon a pretext, but the assembly refused and a contest with the
pope began, at first with the backing of the general populace of
Europe and King Sigismund. In vain the pope excommunicated the
prelates involved. Support for reform poured in to the council
from kings, princes, bishops, prelates and universities. Under
pressure the pope was forced to give the council his full
sanction, an acknowledgment once again of the superiority of
council over pope (which Pius IX would manage to reverse at
Vatican 1).
     The council deposed Eugenius, calling him "a notorious
disturber of peace and unity of God's Church, a simoniac, a
perjurer, an incorrigible man, a schismatic, an apostate from the
Faith, an obstinate heretic, a squanderer of the Church's rights
and property, incapable and harmful to the administration of the
Roman Pontificate. . . ." (Yet his name remains on today's
official list of the vicars of Christ.) With great courage the
council decreed:

"All ecclesiastical appointments shall be made according to the
canons of the Church; all simony shall cease ... all priests
whether of the highest or lowest rank shall put away their
concubines, and whoever within two months of this decree neglects
its demands shall be deprived of his office, though he be the
Bishop of Rome .... the popes shall neither demand nor receive
any fees for ecclesiastical offices. From now on, a pope should
think not of this world's treasures but only of those of the
world to come."

     That medicine proved too strong, and the tide of opinion
turned against the council. The people wanted reformation, but
not that much; and the last thing the pope and the Curia wanted
was to be required to live as true Christians with a council
making certain they did. Pope Eugenius summoned his own council
at Florence, deposed and anathematized the members of Basle, "laid
Basle under interdict, excommunicated the municipal council, and
required every one to plunder the merchants who were bringing
their wares to the city, because it is written, 'The righteous
hath spoiled the ungodly.'" The pope then bribed King
Frederick with 100,000 florins "together with the imperial crown,
assigned tithes to him from all the German benefices and ... gave
full power to his confessor to give him twice a plenary
absolution from all sins." Such is the abominable manner in which
the popes dispensed their favors, including forgiveness of sins.

     The Council of Basle could not compete with the power and
wealth of the pope. Eugenius now had the backing he needed. Von
Dollinger comments, "The victory of Eugenius was complete. When
on his deathbed he received the homage of the German ambassadors,
the event was celebrated (February 7, 1447) in Rome with ringing
of bells and bonfires. Even the slight concessions the pope had
made to the Germans he thereupon recalled in secret Bulls." In
1443 an anonymous German Catholic, in mourning for his Church,
seemed to echo the very vision God had given John in Revelation
17:

"The Roman harlot has so many paramours drunk with the wine of
her fornications, that the Bride of Christ, the Church, and the
Council representing her, scarcely receive the loyal devotion
of one among a thousand."

     As he died, having triumphed over the council and Germany,
Eugenius cried in agony of conscience, "How much better were it
for thy soul's salvation hadst thou never become Cardinal and
Pope!"  The next pope, Nicholas V (1447-55), voided Eugenius's
decrees against the Council of Basle (yet both remain on the
official list of popes today). It was the last chance for the
papacy to be reformed, but it would not happen. In only a short
while the Curia's diligent forgers were at work again producing
more false documents to prove the popes' infallibility and
dominance over all.

Corruption of the Era

     Rome's dominance of Church and world for more than a
thousand years through excommunication, torture, and death had
led to corruption of such proportions that even the secular world
recoiled in shame and horror. The cry resounded throughout
Christendom for a reformation of the Church. All knew, however,
that it was impossible as long as the Court of Rome remained what
it was: "There every mischief is fostered and protected, and
thence it spreads, but there, unless by a miracle, there is no
hope of reformation." 

     Among the popes who followed Nicholas on Peter's alleged
throne were some whose evil was beyond imagination. Von
Dollinger says of Paul II, Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, and
Alexander VI that each tried "to exceed the vices of his
predecessor." One contemporary said that Paul II had "made the
Papal Chair into a sewer by his debaucheries."  Pilgrims who
went to Rome with high hopes returned disillusioned, like Martin
Luther, to declare that "in the metropolis of Christendom, and in
the bosom of the great mother and mistress of all Churches, the
clergy, with scarcely an exception, kept concubines." And the
Church made a profit from it.
     Sixtus IV (1471-84), who had licensed Rome's brothels for an
annual fee and taxed the clergy for their mistresses, invented an
even more ingenious method of filling the Church's coffers. It
would be used by the popes after him to full advantage.
     Sixtus decided that he, as Christ's vicar, could apply
indulgences to the dead as well as to the living. It was a novel
idea which no one had thought of before, and one which turned out
to be incredibly profitable.

     What surviving relative could refuse to purchase the release
of a deceased mother, father, aunt, uncle, or child from the
tortures of purgatory? And of course the richer the living
relatives were the more it invariably cost to transfer the
deceased from purgatory to heaven. One marvels that anyone would
take the word of such an evil pope, but Sixtus was no worse than
many others, and after all, evil or not, he was Christ's vicar
and the successor of Peter, was he not? Again Chamberlin put it
so well:

"No lay monarch, no matter how powerful or virtuous, could hope
to attract to himself the deep instinctive reverence that men
felt for the successor of St.Peter, no matter how unworthy..."

     The few bold souls, such as Savonamla, of Florence, who
dared to criticize Rome's abominations, were consigned to the
flames for their zeal.

The Council of Trent

     Such was the state of the Roman Catholic Church at the time
of the Reformation. Remember, Luther and Calvin were devout
Catholics. There were no Protestants. That word had not been
invented. Multitudes had been crying for reformation for at least
200 years. No one, however, Calvin and Luther included, wanted to
leave the Church. They desired to see it reformed from within.

     Furious at the challenge to their power, the popes would
have consigned Luther and Calvin to the flames, but, unable to
get their hands on them because of the protection afforded by
certain German princes, the hierarchy threw them summarily out of
the Church. Sick to death with the arrogant despotism of the
papacy, with its oppression and slaughter of any who would not
bow to its imperious demands, multitudes followed Luther and
Calvin and the other Reformation leaders out of the Church, giddy
with the first gasping breaths of spiritual freedom they had ever
drawn.
     Suddenly Protestantism, this upstart clamor of "heresy," was
thriving and on the march everywhere. Pope Paul III saw his
empire dwindling and his influence over kings coming to an end. A
despotic, Renaissance pope who had "bestowed the red hat on his
nephews, aged fourteen and seventeen, and promoted them despite
their notorious immorality."  Paul III acted decisively on two
fronts. He convened a council in Trent (northern Italy) that
would condemn the Reformation theologically; and he went to work
behind the scenes to organize a holy war that was intended to
militarily wipe Protestantism from the face of the earth in
Christ's name.
     Rome's popularity was at a low ebb when the Council of Trent
met in 1545 to consider its response to the menace of
Protestantism which threatened the Church in much of Europe.
There were still many clergy within the Catholic Church who
realized the need for a reformation and hoped that Trent would
bring it about, thereby making it possible to welcome those who
had left the Church back into its fold. The pope and his Curia,
however, had other plans.
     The opening speech at the council, by Bishop Coriolano
Martorano, encouraged those who hoped for reform. Unfortunately,
very few so minded were present, for the pope had stacked the
deck with his own men. Von Dollinger describes that stirring
oration:

"The picture he [Martomno] drew of the Italian Cardinals and
bishops, their blood-thirsty cruelty, their avarice, their pride,
and the devastation they had wrought of the Church, was perfectly
shocking. An unknown writer, who has described this first sitting
in a letter to a friend, thinks Luther himself never spoke more
severely." 

     In fact, this lone cry for a return to genuine Christianity
was followed by a chorus supporting the very evil which Martorano
had exposed. The Council of Trent, controlled by Italians, was to
prove itself incapable of facing the facts. When once again a
non-Italian delegate dared to bring up charges that reflected
badly upon the papacy, the Italian bishops shouted, stamped their
feet, and cried that this "accursed wretch must not speak; he
should at once be brought to trial."  The "freedom of speech"
at Trent was similar to what it would be 325 years later in Rome
at Vatican I.
     A famous eyewitness wrote shortly after the council opened
that nothing beneficial was to be hoped for from the "monstrous
bishops" attending; there was "nothing episcopal about them
except their long robes... [they] had become bishops through
royal favor, through solicitation, through purchase in Rome,
through criminal arts, or after long years spent in the Curia."

     They "must all be deposed" if Trent was to produce anything
worthy, but that was impossible. Another contemporary,
Pallavicini, wrote:

"The Italian bishops knew of no other aim than the upholding
of the Apostolic See and its greatness. They thought that in
working for its interests they showed themselves at once good
Italians and good Christians."

The Catholic-Protestant Wars

     Not satisfied with damning the Protestants theologically
(the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent contain more than
100 anathemas against Protestant beliefs), Pope Paul III wanted
to destroy them physically. He offered the Holy Roman Emperor,
Charles V of Spain, "1,100,000 ducats, 12,000 infantry, 500
horses, if he would turn his full force against the heretics."
     The Catholic emperor was only too happy to have a reason to
bring the rival Protestant princes of Germany into subjection and
"to crush Protestantism and give to his realm a unified Catholic
Faith that would, he thought, strengthen and facilitate his
government."
     Nearly ten years of war across Europe ensued. Paul III
"issued a bull excommunicating all who should resist Charles
and offering liberal indulgences to all who should aid him."

     After heavy losses on both sides and much treachery among
the rival rulers, the Protestants remained strong enough to force
the emperor into a compromise. Will Durant explains the
settlement that created the state churches which still exist in
Europe today:

"In order to permit peace among and within the states each prince
was to choose between Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism; all his
subjects were to accept 'his religion whose realm' it was; and
those who did not like it were to emigrate. There was no pretense
on either side to toleration; the principle which the Reformation
had upheld in the youth of its rebellion - the right of private
judgment - was as completely rejected by the Protestant leaders
as by the Catholics....
The Protestants now agreed with Charles and the popes that unity
of religious belief was indispensable to social order and
peace... the princes [were to] banish dissenters instead of
burning them.... The real victor was not freedom of worship but
the freedom of the princes. Each became, like Henry VIII of
England, the supreme bead of the Church [whether Catholic or
Protestant in his territory, with the exclusive right to appoint
the clergy and the men who should define the obligatory faith.
The "Erastian" principle - that the state should rule the
Church - was definitely established. As it was the princes, not
the theologians, who had led Protestantism to its triumph, they
naturally assumed the fruits of victory - their territorial
supremacy over the emperor, their ecclesiastical supremacy over
the Church.... In effect the Holy Roman Empire died not in 1806
but in 1555."

     The story of the Reformation has been told elsewhere. There
were evils perpetrated on both sides, which we lack the space to
recount, We are pursuing one objective primarily in this book: to
identify the woman riding the beast in Revelation 17. In this
chapter we are demonstrating the fact that "Mother of
abominations" was inscribed on her forehead. Let as now move from
the past to the present.

	"Abomination" is a spiritual term. There is no greater
abomination than rejecting the sacrifice Christ made on the cross
for our sins - unless it is leading others astray also. That
abomination in varying forms continues in Roman Catholicism to
this day. Another of Rome's great deceptions relates to marriage
and divorce.

Divorce by Another Name

     The Roman Catholic Church is known for its adamant stand
against divorce. Yet at the same time she is a veritable and
unique divorce mill, hiding this fact by deceitfully calling it
by another name. The Church grants in the United States alone
"annulments" by the tens of thousands each year.  Her use of
psychology is particularly perverse. Many annulments are granted
for "psychological" reasons such as being raised in a
"dysfunctional" family or being "psychologically unprepared" for
a marriage that occurred decades before and produced numerous
children. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy and cynicism, another
of the abominations Rome has birthed.

     Here is an excerpt from a typical letter from a Catholic
diocese justifying to a distraught woman an annulment granted to
her husband of 30 years (five children, husband and wife both
Catholics):

"This investigation by a court of the Catholic Church determines
whether an essential element of the Sacramentof Matrimony was
missing at the time the marriage was entered. If a careful
investigation should determine that such an element as perceived
by the Church was lacking, then your marriage does not bind you
or Mr....so far as the Catholic Church is concerned. This
decision does not have civil implications and does not make your
children illegitimate."

     Of course there are no "civil implications." As unjust as
the courts maybe at times, civil judges are not yet ready to
pretend a marriage didn't actually occur because one of the
parties now claims that he or she was not psychologically
prepared at the time or held some mental reservation as to
whether it would work out. Sadly enough, some Catholics now file
secret letters with their attorneys at the time of marriage,
expressing doubts, just in case they want an annulment later.
Common sense would say that if there are doubts, then the vows
should not be taken; and once the promise is made to be faithful
"for better or worse," it should be kept. If couples can make
solemn vows of fidelity and later break them without penalty and
with the blessing of the Church, then all interpersonal
relationships break down, whether business or private. No one can
be trusted anymore to keep any promise.


     The "PrimeTime" television show of January 6, 1994, dealt
with the issue of Catholic annulments. A Catholic priest
remembered hearing a Church canon lawyer tell him, "Charlie,
there isn't a Catholic marriage in the United States that we
couldn't annul."
     A number of women guests told of their ex-husbands, after a
divorce, seeking annulments so they could remarry in the Church:

     Barbara Zimmerman, married 27 years and mother of five
children; Pat Cadigan, married 23 years; Sheila Ranch Kennedy,
married to Congressman Joseph P Kennedy II, Bobby Kennedy's
eldest son, for 12 years and mother of his twin sons. A Catholic
priest on the program, Fr.Patrick Cogan, explained that
annulments are granted even though the Church doesn't believe in
divorce, because "the Catholic Church believes that it must hold
onto a higher principle." Really? He explained that an annulment
means "there was never a marriage from the very beginning." Mrs.
Kennedy responded angrily, "To say that a marriage that lasted...
close to 13 years... that took place after a nine-year courtship
and a marriage that created two wonderful children never happened
is, to me, outrageous." Joseph Kennedy had explained to her, "But
you have to understand that nobody believes this anyway. It's
it's just Catholic gobbledygook. It's the way the Church requires
that you say these things, so don't take it so seriously."

     While claiming to stand for holiness, Rome corrupts her
followers. On "PrimeTime" Barbara Zimmerman declared: "For my
Church to say, 'Well, you know, you can't get adivorce, but we'll
annul it and that'll take care of it' - it's - it's slimy. It's
sleazy. It's dishonest. It's saying, 'We'll get around our own
rules.'"

     The implications for eternity are solemn indeed. If the
Catholic Church can't be trusted to tell the truth about marriage
and divorce, then how can it be trusted when it comes to
salvation?
     To be cheated in this life is costly enough, but to be
cheated for eternity is a loss from which there is no recovery.

     The golden chalice held by the woman riding the beast was
filled with "the abominations and filthiness of her fornication"
(Revelation 17:4). There is not and never has been a city on
earth except "Christian" Rome which perfectly fits that
description. She has been the seducer of souls, leading
multitudes into the abominations of idolatry, sexual immorality,
the denial of the sufficiency of Christ's redemptive work upon
the cross, and the sale of counterfeit salvation in its place -
and has done it while posing as the one true Church acting in the
name of Christ.

                           ....................


Note:

Dave Hunt of course once more gives, at the end of his book, all
the references from which he quoted in this chapter; 36 of them.
There's WAY MORE DECEPTION that the Roman Catholic church has 
stamped on the world than what Dave Hunt has given us in this 
chapter of his book. A lot of that deception and false teaching 
is expounded on in various studies on this Website. A great deal
of that decetion is all over the Protestant churches. Rome was 
indeed a MOTHER church at the time of Martin Luther and the 
now famous Reformation age, that began with him - Keith Hunt.

Entered on this Website December 2007


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