In mid the nineteenth century, Lord Acton one of the greatest Roman Catholic historians of described the Papacy as “the fiend skulking behind the Crucifix.” Acton, famous for his saying, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” clearly pinpointed Papal Rome as the academic and legal cause of the more than six hundred years of the Inquisition and other atrocities such as the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre, which began in Paris August 24 1572, and spread throughout France. Quiet, calculated, and premeditated legal agreements between Papal Rome made these horrors of history possible. In these dreadful centuries the Roman Catholic Church proclaimed that salvation was only by means of her sacramental system, and therefore of necessity, she needed a legally engineered force to silence the true Gospel. Her apostasy from the Gospel has not changed in the 198 years since the Inquisition as the Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly show.
The article below is intended to stimulate an interest in history so as not to repeat its misery and to inform believers of the calm deliberate and designed civil agreements taking place between the Vatican and most nations in our own day.
Yours in the Lord’s grace and truth,
Vatican Control through Civil Law
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
By Richard Bennett
The Earth Charter and the United Religions Initiative are two instrumental pieces in the international networking of movements across the world that is leading to a one-world religion. Because of the Vatican’s worldwide authority through civil law and the number of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, and influential persons engaged in these movements (official sources remaining aloof), Bible believers need an informed perspective on where events are leading.
The Earth Charter
After eight years of planning, which has involved more than 25 global leaders and 100,000 people in environment, business, politics, religion, and education in 51 countries, the Earth Charter was formalized on March 15, 2000. It is a comprehensive document of global ethics and a political blueprint for world government. The Earth Charter process was initiated by a former Prime Minister of The Netherlands and was carried out under the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, the Chairman of the Earth Council. The principles of the Earth Charter include built in global governance as defined by the United Nations (UN) Commission on Global Governance (1995) and other UN commissions. Something of the desire for legal power is seen in one of its statements, “In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development.”
United Religions Initiative. (Uri)
The philosophy behind the Earth Charter is fully incorporated into the United Religions Initiative (URI). URI is designed to evolve into a United Nations for Religions, with the United Religions Charter being signed on June 26, 2000, three months after the Earth Charter. URI to date has held three summit conferences, with the June 2000 conference marking the birth of a truly global organization that stands as a mother ready to embrace into her bosom all the religions of the world. While the whole emphasis is “spiritual” it is quite interesting that the desire for the same legal power club is as evident in the documents of URI as it is in the Earth Charter. For example, according to the Preamble to the Charter, URI plans a Worldwide Movement “…to support freedom of religion and spiritual expression, and the rights of all individuals and peoples as set forth in international law.”
Power Through Civil Law
Control of civil law and law among European nations is what the Catholic Church thrived on through the Dark and the Middle Ages. This control was the primary underpinning of her power during the six hundred years of the Inquisition and in the growth of her religious power system generally throughout the centuries. Her ability to grow in strength and numbers is always in proportion to her legal agreements with any nation. In the nations where she has legal concordats with the civil governments, she succeeds both in holding down the Gospel and in simultaneously furthering her position as keeper of the ubiquitous, highly sensuous, and most effective sacramental system known to modern man. The latent control mechanisms in international law that can be seen in The Earth Charter and in URI are of precisely the kind that enables Catholicism to thrive. In time past it was through legal agreements that Rome brought kings and princes to heel. Without the Gospel, Catholics through their fear of death were all their lifetime subject to her bondage, for Roman Catholic Church teaching both then and now is that there is no salvation outside the Church. Woe to the ruler who resisted the papal will! Subjects could be, were, and can still be released from their oaths of allegiance; whole states could be, and were placed under interdict. Since early in the 20, century under Pius XII, however, the legal strategy has become even more autocratic.
Power Refined in Concordats
A “concordat” is an international contract, which legally binds the nation involved, and the Vatican. It guarantees the Roman Catholic Church and Catholics the right of freedom of religion and worship. A concordat also secures rights such as that of defining doctrine, establishing Roman Catholic education, negotiating laws regarding property, appointing bishops, and recognizing Roman Catholic law regarding marriage and annulment. Such legal issues are agreed on in civil law between the “Holy See” (as she in her position as a sovereign state is legally called) and the other nation.
Prior to 1989, the Holy See signed international agreements primarily with European and Latin American countries. Vatican control can be seen very clearly in those nations where concordats have long been established as, for example, in Germany under the extant concordat worked out between under Pius XII and Hitler. The Vatican’s desire to maintain civil relations with other nations is now greater than ever. From 1950 to 1999, 128 concordats were signed between Rome and various states. In the course of nine years, 43 concordats were signed between the Holy See and other nations. Even nations of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa are entering juridical agreements with Rome. Moreover, the Church of Rome has much influence in national and international laws, particularly in the nations in which she has papal nuncios as ambassadors. At present she maintains diplomatic relations with 172 countries at embassy level. According to the Catholic Almanac, papal representatives “rec
eive from the Roman Pontiff the charge of representing him in a fixed way in the various nations or regions of the world.” “An apostolic nuncio has the diplomatic rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. Traditionally, because the diplomatic service of the Holy See has the longest uninterrupted history in the world, a nuncio has precedence among diplomats in the country to which he is accredited and serves as dean of the diplomatic corps on state occasions.”
The Vatican, desiring to maintain official diplomatic intercourse with all nations, woos Libya, all the while maintaining relations with Israel. She has had uninterrupted relations with Cuba while having great difficulties with China, Korea, and Vietnam. Some Islamic countries have failed as yet to sign agreements with the Holy See. This becomes more difficult in 2006, even though Pope Benedict took steps on October 9th toward mending relations with Muslims, saying he understood their indignation over his controversial comments and assuring them of his respect for their “great religion.”
Through her many Roman Catholic representatives in government, her own direct influence as a civil power, and in particular through her concordats, Papal Rome is now able to influence substantially civil rulers and civil policy in many nations. Should she gain control of the international criminal court, she would be again fulfilling the Scripture, “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
Effective Legal Structures
To establish legal structures effective to her purposes is the goal of Rome. Understanding this, the remarks of Archbishop Martino, Rome’s a permanent observer to the United Nations, bear all the more weight, “As [the late] Pope John Paul stated, ‘Within the international community the Holy See supports every effort to establish effective juridical structures.’” It can be argued that the Roman system has no official position in URI and other like organizations. This is true, but the Church of Rome has always worked in such a way so as technically to keep her hands clean while having her laws and mindset implemented by others, particularly civil power. This is how she operated in the Dark and Middle Ages, particularly during the Inquisition when the civil powers in the name of civil law prosecuted millions under her murderous church law. The structure of the Roman system makes her capable not only of gaining a predominant position but also capable of maintaining the upper hand so that in fact “Holy Mother” takes all into herself. For example, “Holy Mother Church” is only one of 154 sovereign states participating in the International Criminal Court; yet she is much more. Her citizenry, whose allegiance is first to the Roman Catholic Church, dwells within each of these nations. Many of her citizens have access to positions in the ruling structure of that nation where, as Roman Catholics, they are enjoined by the Roman Catholic Church to use their influence and position to bring that nation into line with papal desires on any issue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) is very clear on the issue,
“The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian [i.e., Roman Catholic] doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church: Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope.”
Due to the totalitarian nature of the Roman Catholic Church, however, none of the non-Catholic citizens of other nations have positions of power within her ruling structure. Thus, although the Holy See has formal diplomatic ties with the various states, Catholic power can be brought to bear covertly against that nation which refuses to defer to her views, particularly those regarding matters of faith and morals. So it is that such power over individuals, held in place by concordats that legally guarantee the teaching, for example, of Canons 752 and 333 of the Vatican Code of Canon Law and paragraph 882 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church eventually can hinder the freedom of religion and worship of those the Holy See deems to be false churches.
“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”
The Emperor Justinian in the sixth century was the main architect who established the foundation for Rome’s ability to impose external unity. Moreover, “During the ninth century, there was a concerted effort to renew society and centralize Western civilization. It is usually called the Carolingian Reform after its initiator, Charlemagne, who was crowned Roman Emperor by the Pope on the feast day of Christmas in the year 800. Its intention was to stabilize the structures of Christendom, and one of its chief tools was reliance on church law.
” The famous Hildebrand Pope Gregory VII nailed down the legal power base of papal canon law so that it became incorporated into Western civilization in the legal system of nations in the eleventh century. All this made possible the Inquisition from 1203 A.D. (in person of Pope Innocent III) until its dissolution in Spain and Portugal in 1808. The Vatican’s persecution of believers they deemed heretics, was done by legal civil means. It involved incarceration, confiscation of property, torture, internment without trial, and death. Pope John Paul II by means of the decree on infallibility of Vatican Council I, the 1917 adoption of the Code of Canon Law, and the revision of the Code under his authority in 1983, was able to work no less autocratically than Pope Pius XII. Although kept in bounds presently by other forces, papal power now has become so consolidated that it is able to surpass what Hildebrand Pope Gregory VII did in his day. Then the known world was much smaller and the only international system was Rome herself and the Holy Roman Empire. Now the stage is set for a one-world government. Perplexingly, many Christians simply want to escape. While some Christians are well informed and aware of the seriousness of the present move to a world religion, nonetheless, most of what is published falls in within the norms of political correctness in which Roman Catholicism is not mentioned. Many present day Evangelicals seem totally ignorant of the laws still standing in the Roman Catholic dogma. For example the statement, “The Church is to be separated from the state, and the state from the Church.” was condemned as an error by “His holiness, our Lord Pope Pius XI” and still is.
The extent to which Rome claims a right to judge and impose chastening has not changed since the days of the Inquisition. In present day canon law she states, Canon 1405 (Sect.1) “It is the right of the Roman Pontiff himself alone to judge in cases mentioned in Can. 1401: 1. those who hold the highest civil office in a state….” Not for nothing, then, is the interest with which the Church of Rome involves herself in promoting the International Criminal Court and like measures.
Her History of Persecution of True Believers
The Roman Church has employed kings and princes in her work of persecution. Her courts first tried and condemned the believers, after which they were delivered over to the civil authority to be executed. In the Papacy’s crusades against Bible believing cities, towns and territories, Rome enlisted the civil power of kings and potentates to carry out her cruel deeds. In those many years, the Papal system was “drunken with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs.”
The Crusades against the Albigenses, the Vaudois, and the Waldenses were replete with outrageous slaughters and barbarities. The individual hounding down of true believers that resulted in atrocious torture and death is the documented history of the state religion of the Papacy. For centuries through her Office of the Inquisition, she organized wars against Bible believing cities and territories. In the middle of the thirteenth century, Pope Innocent IV devised in detail for the many inquisitors how torture was to be perpetrated. “Innocent IV gave comprehensive instructions regarding how torture was to be applied in his bull At Extirpanda (1252). This was revised and reissued by subsequent Popes. Torture is prescribed, but it was to stop short of pulling off limbs or causing death…Ruinous punishments are enacted on all who harbor or give advice or favor to a heretic. How completely the abominable system was the direct achievement of the Papacy is show by the clause that no change could be made without the special authority of the Apostolic See.”
“From the birth of Popery in 600, to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of Popery.” Roman Catholic author, Peter de Rosa, wrote of the atrocities of the Roman Catholic torture machine,
“The record of the Inquisition would be embarrassing for any organization; for the Catholic Church, it is devastating. Today, it prides itself, and with much justification, on being the defender of natural law and the rights of man. The papacy in particular likes to see itself as the champion of morality. What history shows is that, for more than six centuries without a break, the papacy was the sworn enemy of elementary justice. Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on, not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition. On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine.”
The Papacy has shockingly fulfilled the image from Revelation of the woman blood-drenched from six centuries of her murderous rampage. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit foretold of her lust for power and blood. History has recorded some of the gruesome details.
The State of Affairs as It is at the Present Day
Papal Rome has stood in direct opposition to the Gospel of Christ and the judgment of God will come upon her. There never was a clearer duty than that of withdrawing from Papal Rome and her ecumenical followers. Her iniquity is corrupting and intoxicating the nations with a counterfeit head of the Church, a sham gospel, and will make her utter ruin the just and righteous act of God! The voice of the Lord comes back in thunder from the course of ages and reverberates throughout the world. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” The Woman sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast will continue and wax strong and draw to her bosom multitudes, and nations and power and glory of the world, as the Lord said she would. However, the final condemnation of her and those within her is already written, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” God’s reserved wrath, His punishing justice, and His enmity to sin, will be revealed to the entire world. The destruction of Papal Rome will proceed from the glory of His power. “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;”
In the meantime, the victory of the Gospel Word is seen for those who wait on Him. His power has always been greatest in the day of utmost need. Our prayerful duty is to fear the All-Holy God, to obey His great commission, and to trust His victory now and hereafter, and to earnestly pray and desire that we are more and more conformed to be like unto Him the Lord! “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Holiness consists in the believer’s conformity to the image of Christ.
Bible believers of old recognized the Apostate Church from the pages of Scripture and were prepared to both expose her and to face her, in the strength and wisdom of the Lord. Among others there were, Dante, John Wycliff, John Huss, and Savonarola. During the Reformation, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, John Bradford, and John Foxe. In the 17, and 18, centuries such as John Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible, and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist Confessions of Faith. Sir Isaac Newton, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley. In more recent times there were such as Charles Spurgeon, Bishop J. C. Ryle and Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones. All these men and many more knew the precision of Scriptures regarding both the true bride of Christ and the Apostate woman “drunken with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs.” The Written Word has been fulfilled in history, in both light and darkness. Like those believers of old we can enter into battle, because we have the secure proof that the Lord God is with us, and we will have the final victory. The words of the Apostle we repeat, “…having done all, to stand. Stand therefore.” The certainty of the final triumph should animate us in our efforts, and encourage us in our struggles. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
Richard Bennett of “Berean Beacon” Website: http://temp.bereanbeacon.org
Permission is given by the author to copy this article if it is done in its entirety without any changes.
 Acton, Correspondence, 55; as quoted in Himmelfarb, Lord Acton, p. 151
 Bolding in any quotation indicates emphasis added in this report.
 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac, 2001, p. 277.
 See Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church by John W. Robbins (The Trinity Foundation, 1999) for in depth study. http://www.trinityfoundation.org
 Revelation 17:18.
 Catholic International August, 1998, Vol. 9, No. 8, p. 350.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church Para 899
 Canon 752“Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.” Can. 333, Sec. 3“No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” Code of Canon Law, Canon Law Society of America, 1988And Catechism of the Catholic Church Para 882“…the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, 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.”
 LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers (Hagerstown, MD 21740: Review and Herald, 1950) Vol. I, pp. 505, 506.
The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Donald E. Heintschel, eds. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1985) p. 2.
 John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII (NY 10014: Viking, 1999) pp. 348, 361, 371.
 The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Tr. By Roy J. Deferrari from the Thirtieth Edition of Henry Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, revised by Karl Rahner, S. J., published in 1954 by Herder & Co, Frieburg (St. Louis 2, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1957) # 1755 title “His Holiness, our Lord Pope Pius XI”, p. 435.
 William Shaw Kerr, A Handbook on the Papacy (Edinburgh: Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1950) pp. 232-233.
 “A million of poor Waldenses perished in France; nine hundred thousand orthodox Christians were slain in less than thirty years after the institution of the order of the Jesuits. The Duke of Alva boasted of having put to death in the Netherlands, thirty-six thousand by the hand of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed, by various tortures, one hundred fifty thousand within thirty years. These are a few specimens, and but a few, of those which history has recorded; but the total amount will never be known till the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain” Scott’s Church History in John Dowling, The History of Romanism, 1881, Classic Reprints No. 57 (Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 2002) Book VIII, Ch. 1, p. 542. Emphasis in the original.
 Dowling, p. 541. Emphasis in the original.
 Peter DeRosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988) p. 175.
 Revelation 18:4
 Revelation 14:10
 Revelation 14:10 Romans 8:29
 Ephesians 6:13,14
 Romans 8:16-17