|Bill Koenig's International News
|A Kind and Courageous Pope
Plays a Prophetic 'End Time' Role
Pope John Paul II died Saturday afternoon. His life was significant. This is a man who faced down communism in
his native Poland and was such a powerful force against communism that the KGB tried to assassinate him.
He was a staunch advocate of life, believing that life was sacred because it was given by God. He stood firm against
abortion and held to the traditional Catholic (and biblical) doctrine regarding the sanctity of marriage and celibacy
outside of marriage. He was consistent against war, opting for peace all the time. He loved children and had a special
relationship with the youth of the Catholic Church. Many do not agree with the underpinnings of the Catholic Church
but respected this Pope for his commitment and character. And the world mourns his death.
Evangelical Protestant Christians, who often have been at odds with the Catholic Church, enjoyed a period of
cooperation and blessing with this particular Pope. He sincerely wanted people to come to Jesus Christ and accept
Him as their personal Savior. A world evangelist, Pope John Paul II often was open to the Protestant church on the
way to attaining this ultimate goal. While he seemed to personally strive toward Christian purity, he must have been
grieved with the American church, which often took its own direction in disobedience to God's word.
The media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II will be seen on television by over two billion people, nearly
one-third of the world's population, positioning the deceptive doctrine of the Catholic Church as true "Christianity" and
ushering in the end-time church that may well give rise to the Antichrist and the False Prophet as prophesied in the
By virtue of the false doctrine of the Catholic Church and its promotion ?as "the" Christian Church, the next pope shall
sit in the seat of a false prophet and may be uniquely positioned to become either the false prophet or the antichrist
as the world enters into the end-times. For example, the basic tenet of biblical Christianity is salvation by grace
through faith in Jesus Christ. The famous Bible verse known the world over is John 3:16 -- in which Jesus said, "For
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life" (NKJV). Jesus also said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me."
Catholic doctrine does not deny salvation through Christ but promotes other ways to salvation such as prayers
through the Virgin Mary -- mother of Christ, and by absolution of sins by priests. The Catholic catechism, whichis the
doctrine and statement of faith of the Catholic Church, states that "Only priests who have received the faculty of
absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ." And Mary, the mother of Christ, is
"the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race."
Further, the new catechism, which was endorsed by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992, seems to deify the
blessed mother in several places. One of them says, "Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church.
When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the
beloved disciple, we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can
pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope."
As Hal Lindsey, Christian author and commentator, says, "Roman Catholic dogma is at great odds with the Scripture.
And it does not take a priest to see it. The Bible's central teachings are simple and clear. I know that many Catholics
have come to true faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, in spite of the teaching of their Church. But let us never lose sight of
the fact that there is great error in the central dogma of the Church ... an error powerful enough to blind someone to
the simplicity of simple faith in Christ as our only atonement for sin."
The massive numbers of world leaders flocking to Rome to mourn the loss of Pope John Paul II has been called
unprecedented by historians and journalists alike, and invokes a type-and-shadow of the one-world religion as
prophesied in the end-time book of Revelation in the Bible.
The picture of five non-Catholic U.S. Dignitaries -- U.S. President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, former
presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bowing down in prayer before
the deceased body of the Pope is an unprecedented scene in world history and shows how the world can be united
under one religion by a powerful man with the mantra of world peace.
"It is extremely rare throughout American history for an American president to go to a funeral of any foreign dignitary ...
No American president has ever gone to a papal funeral before," said Allan Lightman, professor of American history
and presidential historian, in an interview with ABC News. "It was considered quite a situation in 1995 when
then-president Bill Clinton went to the funeral of slain Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, but it was not this kind of
extraordinary delegation of a sitting president, former presidents and a first lady. Look, the Pope has strode like a
colossus over the late 20th and 21st century [sic]. And here we have the greatest spiritual leader of our time being
paid homage by, of course, the most powerful, political and material leader of the world -- George W. Bush."
Leaders from nearly every major country in the world (except China), including Arab nations, the Palestinian Authority
and royal families, are slated to attend the Pope's funeral. This includes radical Islam, European Protestants, the
United Nations, Buddhists and Hindus who have already paid homage by attending viewings and praying for the
deceased pope. Most all have expressed public sentiments in support of Pope John Paul II, especially how he
promoted world peace in countries across the globe. For example, Islamic terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad
expressed fond memories of the Pope, who often demanded that Israel give up land for peace. Hamas officially
mourned the Pope as a "great man of peace." Palestinian Authority President Mohmaud Abbas and Prime Minister
Ahmad Qurei said the Pope supported the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital city.
Many are speculating about who the next pope of the Roman Catholic Church will be; many others are hypothesizing
what the next pope may be -- pope, false prophet or anti-Christ. Irrespective, all Vatican watchers agree that the next
Pope will play an important role in both theological and political circles.
There are many in the Christian faith who believe the Roman Catholic Church, vis-á-vis the Pope, will play a role in the
end-times. Some say the Catholic Church will be the one-world church that all other churches will join in ecumenical
unity. Others say the Pope will become the Antichrist. Still others say the Pope will be the false prophet of the
Antichrist who gives him credibility and authenticity. There are healthy disagreements among experts, but most
believe that the Catholic Church will be intimately involved in the theological and political landscape of the end-times.
Cardinals Petition Pope To Proclaim Mary,
Spiritual Mother of Humanity & Co-redemptrix With Christ
Five cardinals have invited every cardinal and bishop in the world to join them in petitioning Pope Benedict
XVI to solemnly proclaim the Mother of Jesus as the "Spiritual Mother of humanity” as an ecumenical
service of clarification to other religious traditions and to proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary.
An English copy of the letter which the five cardinals sent to all the world's cardinals and bishops in various
languages on January 1, as well as a Latin “votum” or petition and its English translation has been released
by His Eminence, Luis Cardinal Aponte Martínez, Fatima Symposium cardinal co-patron, with permission
This initiative also intends to start an in-depth worldwide dialogue on Mary’s role in salvation for our time
and builds upon the endorsement of over 500 Catholic cardinals and bishops for the petition for the
definition of this potential fifth Marian dogma over the course of the past 15 years. Renowned
contemporary Catholic leaders have also voiced their support, such as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
and Mother Angelica, foundress of the worldwide Eternal Word Television Network, along with
approximately 7 million petitions from Catholics worldwide.
Should this effort prove successful, a proclamation would constitute a historical event for the Church as
only the fifth Marian dogma defined in its 2,000-year history.
These five cardinals and their petition, in the form of a Latin votum, included the names and petitions of a
number of cardinals and bishops who met at the renowned Marian Shrine in Fatima, Portugal, in May 2005
for a theological symposium on the role of the Virgin Mary as the "Unique Cooperator in the Redemption"
(an expression of Pope John Paul II). The symposium ended with a commonly accepted and signed votum
to Pope Benedict, which respectfully asks him to prayerfully consider declaring the existing Church doctrine
on Mary as the spiritual mother of all peoples as a solemn definition or "dogma," which represents the
highest level of recognition of a particular Christian doctrine as a Catholic truth. This definition of Mary as
spiritual mother would include her three maternal roles as the human “Co-redemptrix” (which literally
means “a woman with the Redeemer” but never on a level of equality with her divine son), “Mediatrix” or
distributor of the graces of the redemption, and “Advocate” or principal intercessor to her Jesus Christ.
The votum emphasizes the rich ecumenical benefits that would come from a solemn definition of this role of
Mary as humanity’s spiritual mother, as the “ultimate expression of doctrinal clarity at the service of our
Christian and non-Christian brothers and sisters who are not in communion with Rome, and as well as for
the greater understanding and appreciation of this revealed doctrine concerning the Mother of the
Redeemer by the People of God at the outset of this third millennium of Christianity.”
The first major petition drive to the popes for the solemn definition of Mary's universal mediation of grace
(a long-standing Catholic doctrine taught by the Roman pontiffs) came from Belgian Cardinal Mercier in
1915, at which time he received the positive support of hundreds of Catholic bishops. In the early 1920s,
the petition was also strongly endorsed by Fr. Maximilian Kolbe (who was later canonized by Pope John
Paul II), founder of the international Marian movement, Militia Immaculatae (“Army of the Immaculate”),
and who offered his life in martyrdom in Auschwitz in 1941.
Cardinal Toppo, President of India’s Conference of Catholic Bishops and cardinal co-patron of the 2005
Fatima symposium stated in his address, “The title ‘co’ clarifies it all. She is in no way the Redemptrix of
humanity, and yet by the will of God and her humble human co-operation, she truly is, and deserves to be
called/designated/honoured as ‘Co-redemptrix.’”
Cardinal Aponte Martínez, also cardinal co-patron at the Fatima conference, offers the following comment
in support of the present timeliness of this potential dogma by Benedict XVI: “I believe the time is now for
the papal definition of the relationship of the Mother of Jesus to the each one of us, her earthly children, in
her roles as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. To solemnly proclaim Mary as the
spiritual mother of all peoples is to fully and officially recognize her titles, and consequently to activate, to
bring to new life the spiritual, intercessory functions they offer the Church for the New Evangelization, and
for humanity in our serious present world situation.”
|The following Commentaries are presented as reference materials only
and are not a part of Amen Ministries of Austin Commentaries.
Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican
Richard Owen in Rome
(Giulio Napolitan/AFP/Getty Images)
Don Gabriele Amorth is the chief exorcist at the Vatican
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the
Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt
with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power
struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the
He added: "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the
holy rooms, it is all true - including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia."
He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican "cover-up" over the deaths in 1998
of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss
Guard, who were all found shot dead. "They covered up everything immediately," he said. "Here one sees
Abuse scandal may be Pope's defining moment
Pope's brother: I hit choirboys
Vatican secrecy 'let abusers go unpunished'
A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his
wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay's relatives
have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and
the involvement of a fourth person who was never identfied.
Father Amorth, who has just published Memoirs of an Exorcist, a series of interviews with the Vatican
journalist Marco Tosatti, said that the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981 had been the work of
the Devil, as had an incident last Christmas when a mentally disturbed woman threw herself at Pope
Benedict XVI at the start of Midnight Mass, pulling him to the ground.
Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a Rome-based exorcist, said that Father Amorth had "gone well
beyond the evidence" in claiming that Satan had infiltrated the Vatican corridors.
"Cardinals might be better or worse, but all have upright intentions and seek the glory of God," he said.
Some Vatican officials were more pious than others, "but from there to affirm that some cardinals are
members of satanic sects is an unacceptable distance."
Father Amorth told La Repubblica that the devil was "pure spirit, invisible. But he manifests himself with
blasphemies and afflictions in the person he possesses. He can remain hidden, or speak in different
languages, transform himself or appear to be agreeable. At times he makes fun of me."
He said it sometimes took six or seven of his assistants to to hold down a possessed person. Those
possessed often yelled and screamed and spat out nails or pieces of glass, which he kept in a bag. "Anything
can come out of their mouths - finger-length pieces of iron, but also rose petals."
He said that hoped every diocese would eventually have a resident exorcist. Under Church Canon Law any
priest can perform exorcisms, but in practice they are carried out by a chosen few trained in the rites.
Father Amorth was ordained in 1954 and became an official exorcist in 1986. In the past he has suggested
that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were possessed by the Devil. He was among Vatican officials who
warned that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels made a "false distinction between black and white magic".
He approves, however, of the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although "exaggerated" offered a "substantially
exact" picture of possession. In 2001 he objected to the introduction of a new version of the exorcism rite,
complaining that it dropped centuries-old prayers and was "a blunt sword" about which exorcists themselves
had not been consulted. The Vatican said later that he and other exorcists could continue to use the old
ritual. He is the president of honour of the Association of Exorcists.
Vatican calls on priests to limit sermon’s to eight minutes
The Vatican has called for priests to cater to congregations' dwindling attention spans by limiting their
sermons to no more than eight minutes.
Nick Squires in Rome
Published: 5:25PM GMT 12 Mar 2010
In what will be welcomed by anyone who has found themselves dozing off in church, the Secretary for the
Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, said that homilies should be kept short, pithy and topical.
The Catholic Church is only too aware that in an age of constant distraction provided by mobile phones,
television and 24-hour internet access, their audiences sometimes struggle to maintain attention – or even
"The homily in general should not go over eight minutes – the average amount of time for a listener to
concentrate," the Croatian-born archbishop said.
Clergy should read newspapers so that they can make the Word of God more relevant and contemporary,
While it was acceptable to write out the homily beforehand, it was better for priests to deliver their sermons
using notes, in order to maintain eye contact with their flock.
"The preacher can write the homily, but at the time of delivery he should use an outline, a special guide that
will allow him to follow a logical line of thought while looking at the faithful." The archbishop advised clergy
to follow the example of Pope Benedict XVI, who starts preparing his Sunday address in St Peter's Square
nearly a week in advance.
"Improvisations must be avoided, since the homily is too serious to be delivered to the faithful without
adequate planning," the archbishop said, in a new book of religious reflections called The Word of God.