By Richard Bennett
In the sixteenth century, the Reformation, through its emphasis on the ultimate authority of the Bible and the Gospel of grace, began to dislodge the Papacy from its position as co-ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. The truth of Scripture and the Gospel gave men and women the knowledge and courage to stand up against the Inquisition, a system of tortures by which the Papacy had enforced submission to papal dogma. This enforced submission had given the Papacy the power to wield tremendous influence with the emperor and among the kings of the empire. Thus Ignatius of Loyola, a contemporary of Martin Luther, founded the Jesuits in 1530 for the very purpose of defending the Papacy from further loss of its power base. The Jesuits’ objective has always been to increase the temporal power of the Papacy to align with the Roman Catholic dogma that the Pope has the right to judge, “the highest civil office in a state.”1 However, since the demise of the Holy Roman Empire in the late eighteenth century, the Papacy has had no civil authority by which to enforce obedience to its moral rulings.
It is a well-established fact that the Jesuits throughout their history have caused many serious disturbances by their nefarious schemes within the civil governments of many countries. Over the centuries, they have justifiably earned their reputation as troublemakers to the extent that they were denied residence in some nations for varying periods of time.
Nevertheless, their objective of increasing Papal religious and civil power beyond its previous height remains unchanged. Therefore, in order to move forward the Papacy’s drive for power in the current religious and civil arenas, this Jesuit Pope must efface the historic image of the Jesuit Order.
Cosmetic Alteration of the Historic Jesuit Image
Once Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected, he chose the name Pope Francis in honor of St Francis of Assisi. St Francis, known to be a softhearted lover of nature, was also known for his humility and gentleness. Thus, in building an image or persona for himself in the public eye, Pope Francis has shrewdly implied that he would be similarly unassuming, kind, and harmless. Since there has never been a pope named Francis, the name carries with it no papal baggage. Immediately following Pope Francis’s election, the media made much of his unassuming nature by showing him paying his own hotel bill for his stay during the enclave. This was followed with news that he was not going to take up residence in the Vatican’s usual papal apartments, but instead would take a smaller, more humble suite, ostensibly to live a “normal” life in touch with the laity by being visibly among them.2 Further, he graciously welcomed back into the Vatican the previous pope, Benedict XVI, who under rumors of unpleasant circumstances, had abruptly resigned. Was this not the modern St Francis, kindly restoring to the aged and ailing Benedict some remnant of the honor that had so suddenly departed him? The steady stream of these and other similar public appearances continues to craft the optics into an image for the new pope that is the anti-type of the traditional Jesuit.
Catholic Dogma Underlying Pope Francis’s Inaugural Address
However, in the very first sentence of his inaugural address on March 19, 2013, Pope Francis presented a feature very different from the persona being carefully groomed by the optics. Indeed, even as out of the heart the mouth speaks, so the new Jesuit Pope began to display audibly his genuine image. While thousands of people were crammed into Saint Peter’s Square, and millions across the world listened by television and radio, the new pope stated, “Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry...”3 Francis knew the claimed power that is embedded in the term, “Petrine ministry.” As the official Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “...the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”4 It is highly significant that Pope Francis began his speech by thanking the Lord that he could celebrate Mass for the inauguration of what he said was “my Petrine ministry.” His opening sentence shows where his heart is; namely, in himself, in his position, and the power entailed in such a position. It is this particular idea, i.e., that the Pope is the Apostle Peter’s successor, which has been the undergirding authority for the Papacy’s identity in the world since the time of Pope Gregory VII in the eleventh century. The nature, indeed, the very identity of the Office of the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church is at stake. Thus, the Papacy will concede nothing regarding this claim but rather use it to establish itself as the stable institution in the midst of current tumultuous times.
Accordingly, using this supposition, Pope Francis’s inaugural homily was a masterpiece in showing his Jesuitical disposition. He opened by saying, “I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph...” He then stated that God called Joseph—
These are carefully chosen words meant to evoke a certain frame of mind in the listener. He then makes application:
At this point, Francis has introduced major Catholic social doctrine under the guise of “protection;” that it is everybody’s job, not just the Christians’ job, to protect everybody; and also (though not stated here), all goods because all possessions in the creation belong to everyone.6 In Catholic social doctrine, everyone, even those who are not Roman Catholic, must fulfill his duty to others as the Roman Catholic Church defines that duty; and this is one of the things to which Pope Francis is referring when he states that there is a “prior dimension” to his idea of protection.7 Thus he says,
He also states that protection is required because in every age “there are ‘Herods’ who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.” He does not define the lurking “Herods” more closely; but he does define what he thinks needs protecting. It is this:
Clearly Pope Francis does not understand that the glorified Jesus Christ, the “only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords,”8 needs no protection. Moreover, he ignores the biblical commandment against praying to the dead.9 When he closes his homily, he prayed instead, “I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry...” He has not prayed to Almighty God through Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit would accompany his ministry; rather, he has called on dead saints, none of whom can hear nor answer his prayer, to induce the Holy Spirit to accompany his pontificate. Clearly, Pope Francis has neither true biblical understanding of who the Lord Jesus Christ is nor how He fulfills His role as Head of the Church.10
Notice the position to which the Lord Jesus Christ has been relegated in all this. Rather, by weaving together the choice of papal name with the theme of protection as his opening homily, Pope Francis has made it clear that he intends to protect the Papacy and its social objectives during his term of office.11 The fact that he has said it in gentle terms, by calling on the images of Francis of Assisi and Joseph, Mary’s husband, does not make it any less lethal.
Thus, it was on day of his inaugural address that Pope Francis began his Pontificate with the mark of a true Jesuit, i.e., primarily defending the Papacy against the Gospel and biblical truth at all costs. With the very opening of his pontificate, the true image of Francis was brought forth into the light of day by his own words, showing him not as humble and harmless, but as proudly dogmatic and utterly opposed to biblical truth.
The Pope’s Objective Regarding Pagan Religions and Evangelicals
Further, on March 20, 2013, Pope Francis addressed religious leaders across the world. Among other matters, Francis stated,
...It is a cause for particular joy to meet today with you, delegates of the Orthodox churches, the Oriental Orthodox churches and ecclesial communities of the West...Together with you I cannot forget how much that Council has meant for the road of ecumenism...For my part, I wish to assure you...of my determination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue. I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to bring my cordial greeting and the assurance of my remembrance in the Lord Jesus to the churches and Christian communities here represented... I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.12
From these remarks, Pope Francis has demonstrated effectively that he will not protect the truth of the Scripture and the Gospel of grace. He does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible alone. It is a well-known fact that Allah, who the Muslims worship, is not the God of the Bible. Since Pope Francis must know this, his remarks point to his ecumenical objective, a goal to be accomplished by high-powered flattery and false ecumenical dialogue.
The Pope’s Objective Regarding Nations and Governments
Moreover, two days later on March 22, 2013, Pope Francis spoke to a group of diplomats representing governments that have a relationship to the Vatican. His speech began with these words:
In his address, Pope Francis emphasized the fact that the Pope is known as the “pontiff,” or “a builder of bridges,” and stated, “In this work [with governments], the role of religion is fundamental.” While few people realize it, the Pope claims the right to judge those who hold highest civil office in a state. This blending of things civil and religious has been the papal method of operation throughout the centuries. At the present time, the Roman Church seeks to implement her socialist ideas by using her power as a religious system working through her own status as a civil state. As a religious system, she is able to command a “fifth column” within many nations.14 By her influence as a civil power, Papal Rome is also able to substantially influence civil rulers and civil policy in many nations and international bodies. The Church of Rome has 179 legal agreements with nations across the world. These “concordats,” as they are called, guarantee that the Catholic Church has the right to define religion and worship for Catholics within that sovereign nation. They also secure for the Vatican the right to define doctrine, establish Catholic education, and negotiate laws regarding property, appointing bishops, and Catholic laws of marriage and annulments.
The Republic of Argentina has had a legal agreement with the Church of Rome since 1957. Thus, as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Argentina, he would have known well the benefit that the legal agreement meant to the Roman Church.
In addressing the diplomats from governments that have a relationship to the Vatican, Pope Francis knew just how important it is to woo civil governments into legal liaison with Papal Rome. Thus, the new Pope continues the Vatican’s civil/legal relationships with nations across the world in its endeavor to move civil governments to implement its global socialist agenda.
Mother Church Presumed to Bestow Faith and Morality
On April 23, 2013, less affable facets of the namesake of St Francis surfaced again. In Pope Francis’s sermon for Mass that day, he stated explicitly,
On April 23 the Pope makes the outrageous claim
Pope Francis’s premise is that one’s identity as a Christian can come only through faith in “Mother Church,” which secondarily also gives them “Jesus.” In fact, he is teaching official Catholic dogma which states,
These statements are a serious affront to those who recognize them for the falsehoods that they are. Undoubtedly Pope Francis believes what he has stated. However, his teaching reflects an old but clever argument aimed at those who do not know their Bibles. Pope Francis and his Church refuse to believe in the authority of the Bible alone; therefore, they fail to believe that faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone is a gift given by the Lord God Himself through the Holy Spirit, and not by any church. The object of faith is the Person of Christ Jesus, as Scripture states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ...”17 This faith is God-given, as declared in Scripture by the Apostle Peter, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”18 Furthermore, this God-given faith comes by hearing the Word of God as is stated, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”19 Nevertheless, Pope Francis stated, “The Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity.” This is traditional Roman Catholic Church teaching.20 Thus it is that the Papal Church itself is presented as the only instrumental way of approaching God and of finding salvation. Clearly, to look to a church as the means of conveying Jesus to people rather than looking to Jesus Himself, “the author and finisher of our faith”21 is “another gospel.” The Lord explicitly declared, “no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”22 and “this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”23 Consequently, Pope Francis’s statement that “Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity” is scripturally speaking, “accursed” as stated by the Apostle Paul, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”24
Pope Francis is both clever and deceitful as he protects his Church against the Scriptures and the Gospel of grace. He is moving forward with the centuries old papal objective of ruling the world as Vicar of Christ. Therefore, he continues to set before the world an optical persona of humility and harmlessness while the words from his mouth delineate him as dogmatic and destructive. In opposition to the Gospel of salvation, Pope Francis talks about salvation gained by trusting in “Mother Church.” Thus, he presents to the world a so-called spiritual apparatus for the salvation of men that, according to Scripture, neither saves nor sanctifies anyone. The system over which he presides professes to have all that a church ought to have; yet, it imposes upon people the horrendous deceits documented in this article, which fraudulence the Apostle called, “all-deceivableness of unrighteousness.”25
The Lord Jesus Christ prayed emphatically the night before He died. His prayer is answered in the life of every believer who is justified by God’s saving grace alone. God’s grace is received through faith alone, and the object of that faith is Christ alone. Christ Jesus prayed, “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”26 The Lord knew very well those for whom He prayed. The objects of His prayer were clear to Him. These believers embrace eternal life as the Holy Spirit regenerates them. Thus, the foundation for true saving faith is utterly of God. Those for whom the Lord prayed are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”27 It is only by the absolute grace of God that you receive the gift of eternal life. There is, nevertheless, the correlation between your inheritance, the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, and your duty, which is to obey God. The greater the gift, the greater is the obligation to express our gratitude in a suitable and becoming manner. Thus the Word of God instructs us, “whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”28
The same truth has a grave warning for Pope Francis and all those who believe in the traditions and sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church rather than directly believing on the Lord Himself by the authority of His written Word. God is the same just and righteous God under the Gospel as He was under the Law in the Old Testament. He deals with us in love and grace; yet, He in Himself remains “a consuming fire.”29 He is the God of strict justice who will avenge Himself on all who have not received the love of the truth, but rather look to a church or some person other than the Lord Jesus Christ alone for life. The Lord Jesus Christ has lived the perfect life and, willingly of His own volition, has made the faultless, propitiatory sacrifice for sin. To refuse to believe in Him alone is a critical offense. When the Lord Jesus dealt with the sincere and devout Pharisees, He gave them a very strong word, “I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”30 You may say that you are a good Catholic and that you want to please God in this present life and hope to live with Him forever; that is a noble goal. You may be as sincere and devout as the Pharisees, but like them, if you personally neglect to believe on Him alone for your salvation, you likewise will die in your sins.
Distinct faith and trust on the Lord Jesus Christ alone is essential and frequently highlighted in Scripture. “He that believeth on the son hath everlasting life.”31 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”32 Thus, it is that you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives life now, and forever! This is the living way, the only way to eternal life. It is spiritual death to attempt to come to God through a so-called “Mother Church.” The way to the Eternal Father is through the Lord Jesus Christ alone; His death is for us the way to true, eternal life. Those who receive this eternal life given by Christ are not only redeemed from the empire of death, but they also live and reign with Him as they are sanctified daily through His Word by the Holy Spirit, and by constant fellowship with Him. Thus, in our beloved Savior, we joyfully praise Him, our everlasting Father, “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.”33
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