Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

What Role Will the Catholic Bishops Play on Health Reform?

Terry Mattingly makes the fascinating point that the U.S. Catholic Bishops seem to be non-players in the health care debate, if press coverage is any gauge.

“Are the journalists ignoring the bishops or are the bishops (and their gatekeepers) ignoring the journalists? This is one of the biggest religion-news stories of the year, especially in terms of its potential impact on Catholic health-care facilities and the people who work there. The church’s views on health-care reform are consistent and articulate and, I might add, rather centrist. If the White House wants health-care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops are a strategic force.
Did you hear that silence? What was that?”


Good question. Terry notes that many independent Catholic groups have been quite active. Earlier this week, Saint Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Health Association urged support.
But what about the Bishops? It may be that they’re holding back until they see how the abortion issue plays out. Yesterday, for instance, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement, “Cardinal Rigali Urges House Committee to Support Pro-Life Amendments to Health Care Reform Bill.”
It’s certainly something the Obama administration should consider: having neutral abortion language could theoretically result in enthusiastic support for health care reform from the Catholic Church — though if I were the White House, I’d want to know: how much energy will the Bishops really put into helping pass health care if they’re satisfied on the abortion provisions?
So far, the Bishops have reiterated their support for the concept for national health care (as long as it’s not promoting abortion)but have not done a major campaign. Counting press releases by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is not the best measure of activity but, still, of the Bishops’ 69 most recent press releases, three were on health care reform:


Cardinal Rigali Urges House Committee to Support Pro-Life Amendments to Health Care Reform Bill
Archbishop O’Brien Calls for ‘Path to Zero’ Nuclear Weapons in Talk to Deterrence Symposium
Auxiliary Bishop For Ukrainian Archeparchy Of Philadelphia Named Apostolic Administrator For Parma, Ohio, Eparchy
Atlanta Vicar General Named Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta
U.S. Bishops Urge Congress to Observe Respect for Life, Access for All in Health Care Legislation
U.S. Bishops Express Solidarity with the Church and People of Honduras; Support Peaceful Resolution of Current Political Crisis
All Four Pending Liturgical Items Pass; Work On The Translation Of The New Roman Missal Continues
USCCB Staff Member Encourages Catholics to Read the Bible with Ten Points for Fruitful Scripture Reading
Pope’s Encyclical Available For Purchase July 20
Statement by the Holy See on the audience of Pope Benedict XVI with President Barack Obama
When the Pope Meets the President
Cardinal Rigali Criticizes Final NIH Guidelines for Destructive Stem Cell Research
Cardinal George Welcomes Caritas in Veritate, Says Message on Global Economy, Politics, Environment is Helpful Guide for Today
Five U.S. Prelates Receive the Pallium
Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Examines Note on Covenant and Mission
Cardinal Rigali Protests Move to Fund Abortion in District of Columbia
Orthodox-Catholic Consultation Studies Nature of Communion, Authority
U.S. Bishops, Catholic Relief Services Call for Greater Commitment to Help Poor around the World in Climate Change Legislation
Methodist-Catholic Dialogue Explores Eucharist, Environment
San Juan Archbishop’s Workshop on ‘Continental Mission’ Part of US Bishops’ Spring Meeting
U.S. Bishops Express Support for Bishop D’arcy and His Pastoral Concern for the University of Notre Dame
Bishops Approve Text, Inclusion Of Mass In Thanksgiving For The Gift Of Human Life, Spanish Lectionary; Other Liturgy Votes Inconclusive
Cardinal George, Bishops Ask President Obama, Congress To Enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before End Of 2009
USCCB Clarifies Key Points From Reflections On Covenant And Mission Statement
Liturgical Items Will Dominate Spring Bishops’ Meeting Agenda In San Antonio
Cardinal George Congratulates Archbishop -Elect Di Noia, Former Head Of USCCB Doctrine Office
USCCB’s Refugee Children’s Program Wins Award For Advancement Of Child Maltreatment Prevention And Intervention
Pope Names Bishop Gregory Aymond as Archbishop of New Orleans
Advisory: The annual Spring General Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be June 17 through 19
Bhutanese Couple Resettled by U.S. Bishops’ Program to Speak at United Nations’ World Refugee Day Event
Catholics, Anglicans Meet on Debt Relief, Contraception
‘Callings’ Documentary Featuring Baseball Player, Dancer, Social Worker Available for Airing on NBC
Sikh-Catholic Retreat Scans Common Theology, Youth Outreach
Pope Accepts Resignation of Omaha Archbishop, Appoints Bishop Lucas of Springfield, Illinois, as Successor
The announcement was made June 3 in Washington by the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi.
Bishops Support Family Reunification Senate Bill, Not Able to Support Similar House Legislation
U.S. Bishops Express ‘Profound Regret’ about Shooting Death of Abortion Doctor
Pennsylvania News Anchor, Educator, Lawman Named to Bishops Child, Youth Protection National Review Board
Peter’s Pence Collection, an Invitation to Cast the Light of Christ upon the World
Bishops Praise Decision by California Supreme Court to Uphold Definition of Marriage as “Between One Man and One Woman”
Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Appoints Successor; Names Auxiliary Bishop in St. Paul-Minneapolis
Solidarity Fund for Church in Africa Posts New Promotional Materials
Pope Names Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Cistone To Saginaw, Michigan
Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Ignatius Wang, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco
May 22 Is National Day Of Prayer And Remembrance For Mariners And People Of The Sea
Bishops Issue Statement on First Anniversary of Postville Enforcement Actions, Continue Call for Immigration Reform
Pope Accepts Resignation of Winona Bishop, Coadjutor Succeeds
Justice For Immigrants Campaign To Hold Regional Training In Colorado, May 19-20
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver will preside the opening Mass for the convening, and Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs will concelebrate.

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posted July 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Can the Bishops really be counted on, and does anyone really care what they say? For orthodox Catholics, they only listen to the Bishops when they talk about abortion. Otherwise, they are considered too liberal and the the trads are generally secret capitalists anyway. They are afraid of socialism more than they are afraid of Vatican II.
For everyone else, they probably assume that the Bishops aren’t united (which they aren’t) and therefore aren’t really interested in being part of the game. Oh, they will talk about abortion and conscience clause provisions, but they won’t get their hands dirty when it comes to the 99% of health reform that ultimately matter.
At some point, Obama and Congressional Democrats will have to decide how much they are willing to be mugged on the issue of abortion just to appease a group of people who aren’t seriously engaged.

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posted August 1, 2009 at 11:09 pm

No wonder the Seventh Day Adventist call the Vatican the seat of the Antichrist, “it seeks to control time and laws”Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8 • July 20, 2009
On July 10 Bloomberg reported that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled a “new supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a ‘united future world currency.’
“Here it is,” Medvedev told reporters in L’Aquila, Italy as he proudly displayed the coin after the G-8 summit. “You can see it and touch it.” The coin is inscribed with the words ‘unity in diversity,’ and was minted in Belgium and was presented to the heads of the G-8 delegations.
“The question of a supranational currency ‘concerns everyone now, even the mints,’ Medvedev said. The test coin ‘means they’re getting ready. I think it’s a good sign that we understand how interdependent we are.’”
“Medvedev has repeatedly called for creating a mix of regional reserve currencies as part of the drive to address the global financial crisis…” said Bloomberg. “Russia’s proposals for the G-20 meeting in London in April included the creation of a supranational currency.
“However,” reported the Chinadaily, “ those who have downplayed the formulation of a world currency by dismissing it as merely a progression of SDR’s (Special Drawing Rights) and not something that would physically be used by citizens in a system of world government, were contradicted when Medvedev clearly outlined that the new currency would be “used for payment” by citizens as a “united future world currency”.
American Economists, such as Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner denied that there were plans to create a world currency… “However,” said Chinadaily, “just days after he told a Congressional hearing that there were no plans to move towards a global currency, Geithner sought to please the elitist CFR by assuring them that he was ‘open’ to the notion of a new global currency system.” As far back as 2006, the “highly secretive Bank For International Settlements, considered to be the world’s top central banking power hub, released a policy paper in 2006 that called for the end of national currencies in favor of a global model of currency formats.” Geithner would have known about that.
A world currency could simply commerce and trade, but it would also be a cornerstone of a one world government. Eventually a single global currency would simplify the fulfillment of Revelation 13:17 which says that “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Bloomberg Article
BBS News Article
Yahoo News Article
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Pelosi Rejects Michael Jackson Resolution • July 13, 2009
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected “a resolution honoring Michael Jackson because the debate on the symbolic measure could raise ‘contrary views’ about the pop star’s life. Lawmakers are free to use House speeches ‘to express their sympathy or their praise any time that they wish,’ said Pelosi, D-Calif. ‘I don’t think it’s necessary for us to have a resolution.’
“A resolution sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), cites some of the singer’s charitable acts and proclaims him an American legend, musical icon and world humanitarian.
“Even before Pelosi’s comments, some Democrats said privately they did not support the resolution and a divisive debate would hurt House efforts to muster the votes for priorities such as health care and climate change.
“A resolution, I think, would open up to contrary views to – that are not necessary at this time to be expressed in association with a resolution whose purpose is quite different,” Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill news conference where she discussed various legislative matters.
“Unbowed, Jackson Lee said she will seek support from colleagues who thanked her when she introduced the measure June 26, one day after Michael Jackson died.”
Jackson Lee, who spoke at the funeral for Michael Jackson in Los Angeles, is a Seventh-day Adventist whose religious faith should have prevented her from doing either the speech or entering the resolution for a worldly pop star. Fellow democrat Pelosi’s comments should have reminded Jackson Lee that she is not only out of place in Congress, but especially so before the God of heaven.
“Jackson Lee has pledged that the resolution, now before the House Foreign Affairs Committee where she is a member, would come to the full House for debate.”
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
The Economy and the Spirit of Prophecy • March 25, 2009
The following interesting statement may well apply to our present circumstances. It is from the Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, page 236.
“There will be many great failures in earthly banks, and in speculations, including mining and real estate.”
Could this statement be referring to the current banking crisis with its frozen credit markets, the stock market and the commodities markets, where speculation runs rampant, and the housing crisis in the real estate market? While we cannot say with any certainty that this is the last great economic downturn, we are certainly seeing how these principles can and will be played out at the end of time.
Here is another statement from Evangelism, page 62. “Money will soon depreciate in value very suddenly when the reality of eternal scenes opens to the senses of man.”
With all the billions upon billions of dollars, pounds and Euros that have been created out of thin air and dumped into the major western economies and thereby devaluing themselves by dilution, would it be safe to say that there will come a time when western nations in particular will have hyperinflation such as in Russia in recent times, and some developing countries?
The following is quote is taken from Money and Markets, well known investor newsletter. Speaking of the consequences of all the bailout money that has been flowing into the markets in western countries, Warren Buffet wrote in a letter recently, “Their precise nature is anyone’s guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.”
What does he mean by inflation? That is the same as saying that the value of the currency goes down. There has been so much new money created out of thin air, that it will inevitably and eventually dilute the value of the existing money in the system. This means that in time it will cost more of your money to buy goods and services. Ellen White said that money will “depreciate in value very suddenly.” Right now we are in a deflation cycle which means that your money actually buys a bit more than before as prices have declined overall. We don’t know when the sudden deprecation of money will be, but if the most savvy investors, like Warren Buffet and Martin Weiss are suggesting that inflation is coming we had better pay attention.
Martin Weiss of Weiss Research says in Money and Markets: “Ultimately, we’re going to have to make a choice: The right choice is to make shared sacrifices, let deflation do its work, and start regenerating the economic forces that have made the United States such a great country. The wrong choice is to take the easy way out, try to save most big corporations, print money without bounds, debase our dollar, and ultimately allow inflation to destroy our society.”
This is in fact, what is happening. Unchecked creation of money will certainly debase the dollar (and other world currencies) relative to the cost of goods and services. This is not about the relative value of currencies against each other. That is another matter all together. The relative value of currency in relation to purchasing power is what Ellen White is talking about.
Weiss advisors are saying that there could be “substantial inflation.” After all, there have been substantial bailouts and substantial money creation.
Glenn Beck, a 29 TV commentator, dramatically showed how the U.S. has created a ticking time bomb. He put up a graph showing the nation’s “monetary base” dubbed M0 by the Federal Reserve. It looks like a hockey stick. For many years it has been relatively stable, but in the last four months of 2008, the graph shows that the money base has shot straight up as a huge increase of $800 billion, or nearly a doubling of the money base. “We have pumped all this money in and devalued our money. How is it not going to be worthless?” asked Beck.
While Glenn Back usually hypes a lot, his point however is very clear. And now, the Obama Administration is diligently adding to this money base which points to the threat of a rapid loss in the buying power of the U.S. dollar. This is likely to be the case in other western countries so long as the U.S. dollar is the dominate currency in world markets. Most people in western nations are going to suffer loss of material and financial prosperity. This could well trigger calls for a revival of religion and the need to return to God.
Ellen White foreshadows this by saying in Great Controversy, page 590. “It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday-sabbath, that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced, and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people preventing their restoriation to divine favor and temporal prosperity.” Prophecy is about to be fulfilled again. It’s just a matter of time.
Source 1
Source 2
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
European Bishops Still Pressing for Sunday Rest • March 23, 2009
Using the economic crisis to press for Sunday legislation, the European Conference of Catholic Bishops, or COMECE, and the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and the Church of England hailed a February 2, 2009 initiative to introduce a written declaration into the House that would protect Sunday as a day of rest in Europe. Five MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) drafted and introduced the declaration. “A work-free Sunday,” said COMECE, is “an essential pillar of the European Social Model and as part of the European cultural heritage. Such a declaration would constitute an important commitment to a Social Europe.
“Men and women who work on Sundays, are put at a disadvantage in their social relationships: Their family life, personal development and even health are verifiably affected,” said COMECE.
The Bishops urged that “respect for Sunday rest has the potential to be a pillar of the European social model,” and that Sunday’s long cultural heritage and tradition in Europe is why Sunday should be protected as a day of rest in order to balance life safeguard the family. Without Sunday rest, the Bishops continued, “workers have experienced fragmentation of their private lives,” and some businesses, they added, cannot compete effectively.
The written declaration, if passed, would call on the “Member States and on the EU institutions to protect Sunday as a weekly rest day in forthcoming national and EU working-time legislation in order to enhance the protection of workers’ health and the reconciliation of work and family life.”
To become official, a majority of the Members of the European Parliament (394) must sign the Declaration before May 7, 2009. It would then be sent to all the relevant entities of Europe, apparently requesting that they amend their policies.
Text of the Written Declaration:
Notice that these churches, with Rome in the lead, are trying to avoid religious arguments to make their case. They use essentially good arguments such as health, temperance, balance, family time, the poor economy and unbridled consumerism as reasons to promote Sunday rest as being in the highest interest of society.
The book Great Controversy, page 587 reveals what the stealth strategy in linking Sunday rest with social reforms. “…the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error… The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible, yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, his servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.”
Resting on Sunday or any other day of the week is not breaking God’s law. What would be a violation of the law of God would be a law requiring Sunday sacredness, or a Sunday worship law. But a law requiring Sunday rest has a religious motivation. After all, it is promoted by the Catholic Bishops, the Protestant Church in Germany, and the Church of England. It should be obvious to all that though these churches are not pushing for Sunday observance or Sunday worship laws at the moment, Sunday rest laws lay the foundation for them to pressure parliament for that later.
Notice also that two formerly protestant churches have joined with Rome to promote Sunday rest in Europe. Germany was the center of the Lutheran Reformation that greatly affected Rome’s control over Europe. Protestant England was the sole global superpower for centuries. Rome is using these very churches who continue to observe the day of worship that originated with her, as a means of reasserting her control over Europe. They are being co-opted by Rome to promote her rest day, and consequently her power. That’s quite a change! Perhaps their leaders don’t even realize it.
The work of Sunday exaltation is being promoted in Europe as a necessary element of a stable and healthy society. But this thinly disguised effort to exalt Sunday is really an underhand way of preparing for their real agenda of Sunday observance laws. This has ever been, and ever will be their agenda.
The Review and Herald, December 24, 1889 makes this comment, “Plans of serious import to the people of God are advancing in an underhand manner among the clergymen of various denominations, and the object of this secret maneuvering is to win popular favor for the enforcement of Sunday sacredness. If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.”
While this statement is referring to the United States Constitution, and was speaking of the Sunday law efforts in the late 1880s, it nevertheless does not preclude similar efforts to be taken in other places like Europe in our day. If fact, with the dramatic increase in secularization in the western world, the priests and ministers of the churches would have to be more careful to disguise their plans until a favorable environment for Sunday worship laws arises.
Europa Article
Comece Article
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Vatican Banker Suggests How Church can Help Solve Economic Crisis • March 04, 2009
On January 1, 2009, Enerpub released an interview with the man in charge of the Vatican Bank. After discussing the economic crisis, Professor Angelo Caloia was asked how the church could assist in finding a solution to the economic challenges facing the world. Here is what he said:
“In the economy, the decline of discipline, of a discipline based on a solid ethical order, can cause the very laws of the market to collapse. The Church, for her part, has always been vigilant about idols. At the beginning of the recent Synod on the Scriptures, Pope Benedict XVI recalled that whoever builds his life on material things, on success, builds on sand. Above all, Benedict XVI has always said that, to act rightly, the reason must be purified, because its ethical blindness, which comes when self-interest and power prevail, is always a tragedy.”
What professor Caloia is saying is that the undisciplined and greedy have been permitted to dominate the markets. They have not acted rightly by not following a solid ethical order, and this has led to the collapse of the economic system. They therefore need to be informed by Church teaching and social policy concerning their responsibility and ethics. The church can help solve the crisis if market makers allow the Church to purify their minds and open their eyes ethically. This will help prevent the tragedy of self-interest and power.
Revelation 18:15 says that the” merchants of the earth were made rich by her.” This statement, referring to the relationship between the Church and the economic masters of the world, tells us of a different model than what appears to be promoted by Professor Caloia. But in reality, they fit together.
Rome knows that religious power cannot be achieved without economic power. And economic power cannot be achieved without pandering to her own self-interest, and the self-interest of those that help her build her wealth. So there has to be a cooperative effort between the bankers and economists of the world and the Vatican. But Rome, for her part, has to speak in spiritually pious economic terms, just as she speaks in spiritually pious political terms. When she does, people listen. If they like her words and ideas, they help her by giving her their support both financial and political. Rome has positioned herself to be the moral economic voice. No doubt she is working closely with those who are tinkering with the global economic system.
Caloia is basically talking about the redistribution of wealth according to Catholic social teaching. If the church were permitted to assist in solving the global economic problem, a system would be developed that would further benefit her manipulative power and systemic control of present day geopolitics. Though the circumstances are somewhat different today, Rome’s control over every aspect of the economy in the medieval age actually stifled economic growth and progress. Nevertheless, similar principles followed today, would put Rome in the position to wield similar power to what she held then. History reveals that when Rome comes to the aid of governments in crisis, she bends her efforts, in the name of religion, to benefit her own wealth and power.
Energy Publisher Article
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Brief Description of the Reason for the Economic Crisis • March 03, 2009
“In the first place, then, it is patent that in our days, not wealth alone is accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination are concentrated in the hands of the few, who for the most part are not the owners but only the trustees and directors of invested funds, which they administer at their own good pleasure…This domination is most powerfully exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, also govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the life blood of the entire economic body, and grasping in their hands, as it were, the very soul of production, so that no one can breath against their will…” —Pope Pius XI
Pope Pius XI would certainly know. He understood the market forces as well as any economist. Perhaps he should not have complained, because in the Middle Ages, the Vatican was in the position to dominate even more broadly. The Vatican has an advantage over worldly financiers. She can control through spiritual tools in her tool box. And the result was not merely economic domination, but domination over every aspect of life.
In 1798 Rome’s power came to an end. Since then she has long waited and worked to regain the position she once had. Now we are in the end game. The Vatican has almost completely restored her power in the old world as well as the new. It is not complete yet, but given time, Rome’s complete restoration to power will arrive. She is working diligently on it while men sleep. They are blind to her agenda, and if they are not, they don’t seem to care. Worldly bankers and economists know that they cannot succeed without cooperation with Rome. That cooperation is leading to the time when no man can buy or sell, unless they worship in Rome’s way.
Energy Publisher Article
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Baptists Meet with Pope • July 17, 2008
On December 6, 2007, the Catholic News Agency reported that “Baptist leaders from around the world met with Pope Benedict XVI this morning at the Vatican as the second round of Baptist-Catholic talks continued. Saying that the lack of unity among Christians contradicts Christ’s will, Benedict XVI told the Baptist delegation that the world needs ‘our common witness to Christ and to the hope brought by the Gospel.’”
The theme of the talks The Word of God in the Life of the Church: Scripture, Tradition and Koinonia, “offers a promising context for the examination of such historically disputed issues,” said the Pope, “as the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the understanding of Baptism and the Sacraments, the place of Mary in the communion of the Church, and the nature of… primacy in the Church’s ministerial structure.”
The Pope concluded his remarks by saying that the lack of unity between Christians “openly contradicts the will of Christ, provides a stumbling block to the world, and harms the most holy cause of proclaiming the good news of every creature.”
This is the second series of meetings between that Baptist World Alliance and the Vatican said Zenit, a Catholic internet news agency. “The first series of talks took place between 1984 and 1988. The current series, which began in December of 2006 in Birmingham, Alabama, will continue through 2010… The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of 214 Baptist conventions and unions comprising a membership of 36 million baptized believers and a community of 105 million.” While this doesn’t represent all Baptists, it is certainly a very large and significant group.
The Baptist churches have historically stood for religious liberty and baptism by immersion and the Bible only. However, they have a strong commitment to tradition just as Rome does, even giving it more authority than scripture in some cases, such as concerning Sunday worship. Therefore they are very vulnerable to Rome’s ecumenical movement, and now they are discussing with Rome the very issues that Baptists have long been known to oppose, infant baptism (in context of their own teaching on immersion), Mariology and the primacy of the Pope over the churches, both of which they have long opposed as idolatry and imposition. Rome has made enormous progress in fulfilling her prophetic destiny to sit as a queen atop the world’s governments and religions, according to the prophecy of Revelation 18.
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Visit the Virgin, Get an Indulgence. • July 17, 2008
Rome never changes. The very thing that sparked the Protestant Reformation is still being promoted by Rome. On December 5, 2007, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported that the Vatican has issued a decree saying that “Benedict XVI will grant the faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes (France).”
If one is to receive the indulgence, one must visit one of several places in Lourdes and pray an appropriate length of time and do the other usual spiritual exercises such as pious meditations, recite the Our Father, the Profession of Faith and the Jubilee prayer or other Marian invocation. Or, if they cannot visit there, they may visit a Marian shrine in any church, grotto or decorous place and perform spiritual exercises of Marian devotion between February 2 and 11, 2008. Or if they can do neither of these because of sickness or infirmity, they can still have the Plenary Indulgence if [and I quote] “with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions,(that is: Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer), on the days February 2 to 11, 2008, [and] in their hearts they spiritually visit the above mentioned places and recite those prayers, trustingly offering to God, through Mary, the sickness and discomforts of their lives.”
My friends, this mummery and superstition is as pointless and useless as it was in the days of Luther and Calvin, yet it is still being promoted by the Antichrist just as it was back then to gullible people that think that they will burn in hell if they don’t do something to get right with God and of course, the virgin. The modern Tetzel and Simon are Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti who signed the Vatican document.
Rome is returning to her former power. She is also restoring her ancient idolatry and superstition just as prophecy predicts.
Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Visit the Virgin, Get an Indulgence. • July 17, 2008
Rome never changes. The very thing that sparked the Protestant Reformation is still being promoted by Rome. On December 5, 2007, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported that the Vatican has issued a decree saying that “Benedict XVI will grant the faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes (France).”
If one is to receive the indulgence, one must visit one of several places in Lourdes and pray an appropriate length of time and do the other usual spiritual exercises such as pious meditations, recite the Our Father, the Profession of Faith and the Jubilee prayer or other Marian invocation. Or, if they cannot visit there, they may visit a Marian shrine in any church, grotto or decorous place and perform spiritual exercises of Marian devotion between February 2 and 11, 2008. Or if they can do neither of these because of sickness or infirmity, they can still have the Plenary Indulgence if [and I quote] “with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions,(that is: Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer), on the days February 2 to 11, 2008, [and] in their hearts they spiritually visit the above mentioned places and recite those prayers, trustingly offering to God, through Mary, the sickness and discomforts of their lives.”
My friends, this mummery and superstition is as pointless and useless as it was in the days of Luther and Calvin, yet it is still being promoted by the Antichrist just as it was back then to gullible people that think that they will burn in hell if they don’t do something to get right with God and of course, the virgin. The modern Tetzel and Simon are Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti who signed the Vatican document.
Rome is returning to her former power. She is also restoring her ancient idolatry and superstition just as prophecy predicts.

Prophetic Intelligence Briefings
Congressional Sabbath Keeper Welcomes the Pope • July 08, 2008
Among the 12,000 guests (13,500, according to the National Catholic Register) at the official state welcome for Benedict XVI on the South lawn of the White House, was one who claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist who is a democratic member of the House of Representatives from Texas.
Sheila Jackson-Lee listened to the welcoming message and then issued a press release. “I welcome His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first visit to the United States” said Jackson-Lee. “Along with millions of Americans, I am truly honored to hear his message of peace, hope, justice and goodwill to all…” How is it that she calls the pope “His Holiness?” Does she think that he is somehow holy? These are terms describing him as having divine attributes and power.
I’ll read on from her website. “I fully understand the importance of the Catholic faith. Houston has a flourishing Catholic community in which I have worked very closely with on issues such as immigration, healthcare and interfaith relations… Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.” Imagine that! A Seventh-day Adventist attending a Roman Catholic mass? How can that be?
“As a woman of faith, again, I welcome Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of my constituents to the United States,” she said. “As the Catholic faith continues to spread around the world and in Houston, I am committed to graciously working along side my constituents as well as world religious leaders of all different religious backgrounds to continue growing in faith and to strengthen our world.” Keep in mind this is the same person that eulogized the dead John Paul II in 2005 as having moved into a more abundant life and that she was continuing to pray for the dead pope.
Apparently Ms. Jackson-Lee is also someone that sees the pope as God and is very involved in the ecumenical aspects of Rome’s agenda. Moreover, she is obviously fond of opportunities to adulate the pope. How is it that a Seventh-day Adventist could make this kind of statement? Does she think that this will help her improve her political ambitions with her constituents? While it may strengthen her constituent base, it does not strengthen her reputation with the God of Heaven. Commendably, the Adventist Congressman from Maryland, Roscoe Bartlett said nothing on his website about the papal visit.

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posted August 1, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Who Is the Beast?
By Richard F. Ames
Few people understand the book of Revelation and its many mysterious symbols. There are many conflicting ideas about the Beast of Revelation, but the Bible makes itself clear, and reveals vital truth that you need to know!
The book of Revelation in your Bible is a puzzle to most people. It is full of unusual imagery and mysterious figures. One of these is a “Beast” that will change the future of the world.
The book of Revelation is filled with symbols. One of these is a “Beast” with seven heads and ten horns. According to Bible prophecy, this future Beast will rule many nations. Just who is this Beast? What do its heads and horns represent? The answer may surprise you, and it will help you understand the future of the world.
Regular readers of this magazine understand that Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth, to usher in the “Millennium”—the Kingdom of God here on earth. But Bible prophecy reveals that before Christ begins His reign on earth, nations will battle one another in a devastating world war. One of those battling superpowers is described, in your Bible, as a beast with seven heads.
John Describes the Beast
What is this mysterious Beast? The Apostle John described a vivid vision of a creature with seven heads and ten horns. “So [an angel] carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3).
What do these heads and horns mean? What does the woman represent? People like to speculate, but we do not have to be in the dark about John’s meaning. The Bible interprets the Bible, as we will see.
In the Bible, a woman can symbolize a church. Sometimes, a woman represents the true Church (Ephesians 5:25, 32). Christ loves His Church, just as husbands are to love their wives. However, a fallen woman represents a false church, or a false religious system. Notice John’s description as it continues: “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement” (Revelation 17:4–6).
Here is a great persecuting church, a religious system that has persecuted true Christians over the ages. John continues his description: “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition” (Revelation 17:9–11).
Here we see that the seven heads represent a series of seven kings, or kingdoms, following an original kingdom. So the eighth will be the final revival of this kingdom. As we will see, this is a revived Roman Empire.
John goes on to describe an unusual feature of the Beast: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:12–14). These horns are a military alliance that will make war with Jesus Christ, the Lamb.
The Beast at Armageddon
The Bible describes a terrifying end-time battle, popularly known as the “Battle of Armageddon.” At this battle, forces loyal to the Beast will take part in a final battle between good and evil, for control of the earth. What will happen at this battle? “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).
Notice the location of this battle! An eastern military alliance, here called “the kings from the east,” will move westward across the Euphrates River. Look at a world map, and you will see that the Euphrates River begins in Turkey, then passes through Syria and Iraq before reaching the Persian Gulf. Which nations are to the east of the Euphrates River? Nations including Iran, India and China.
The Bible describes that kings “from the east” will move westward to join other forces. Why will they be on the march? “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13–14). The Beast, with the false prophet, will gather these kings to fight against Jesus Christ—the Messiah—at His coming. Notice that although this battle is often called the “Battle of Armageddon,” your Bible gives it a different name—”the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (v. 14).
Can Christians afford to ignore this pivotal event? Jesus Christ Himself gives the answer, warning us: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (v. 15).
Where will the Beast gather the world’s armies? “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (v. 16). The word “Armageddon” is a transliteration of the Hebrew har Megiddo, meaning “the hill of Megiddo” or “the mountain of Megiddo.” Megiddo is located about 55 miles north of Jerusalem, in Israel. In ancient times, Megiddo guarded the main trade route between Egypt and Damascus. It also overlooks the largest plain in Israel, called the “Valley of Jezreel” in your Bible, or the Plain of Esdraelon. The Old Testament records several major battles that took place there. Although the world’s armies will use all their modern weapons of mass destruction against the returning Christ, they will utterly fail in battle against the King of kings.
The Beast in Daniel
In the book of Daniel, we read that God inspired His prophet Daniel to see an amazing vision of four great beasts: “Daniel spoke, saying, ‘I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’” (Daniel 7:2–5).
Daniel then described a beast like a leopard, and another beast with ten horns, before explaining: “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (vv. 17–18).
Just as in Revelation, we find a beast with ten horns! This beast, too, represents the end-time revival of a great empire—a coming superpower. Daniel goes on to explain: “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings” (vv. 23–24).
The horns represent successive kings. They will be judged, and the final “Beast power” will be overthrown (v. 26). Then God’s Kingdom will be established on earth: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (v. 27).
We have seen that both Revelation and Daniel include prophecies about ten horns, representing kingdoms. Both prophecies converge on the world’s final superpower state, which rises in opposition to Jesus Christ. Can we identify this superpower—this final Beast? A dream given to King Nebuchadnezzar can help us understand both biblical and historical evidence regarding the four world-ruling empires, and the identity of the Beast that will rule before Jesus Christ returns.
Daniel and his three friends had been taken into Babylonian captivity, where they were trained and educated to serve the King of Babylon, in whose service they excelled. Why did they excel? “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17). They excelled in service because God had given them wisdom.
Prophetic “Babylon”—The Successive Reigns of Gentile
Click On Image To Enlarge
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
When King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream, his Babylonian advisors could not interpret it. So Nebuchadnezzar called upon Daniel, whose wisdom he respected. Unlike Nebuchadnezzar’s advisors, Daniel knew the king’s dream, and described the great image the king had seen: “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces” (Daniel 2:31–34).
Not only did Daniel know the king’s dream; he interpreted its meaning: “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all; you are this head of gold” (Daniel 2:37–38).
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold represented him and his empire, the Babylonian empire. But what world-ruling empires did the rest of the image represent? Bible scholars and historians widely agree that the head of gold represents the Babylonian Empire from 625BC to 539BC. This empire was replaced by the Medo-Persian Empire from 558BC to 330BC, represented by the chest and arms of silver. The belly and thighs of bronze represent the Greco-Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great from 333BC to 31BC. The two legs of iron represent the Roman Empire from 31BC to 476AD. Finally, the ten toes—on two feet of iron mixed with clay—represent a yet-future revival of the Roman Empire.
Notice that all the kingdoms represented in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image will come to an end. What will come after them? The Kingdom of God! As Daniel explained to Nebuchadnezzar: “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34–35).
Daniel went on to describe the meaning of the stone: “And in the days of these kings [symbolized by the ten toes] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
God’s Kingdom Replaces the Beast!
The Kingdom of God will replace the Beast power. As we have seen, Daniel’s prophecies predicted the empires to succeed Babylon. The last empire with its revivals was the Roman Empire. There were six revivals, including the Imperial Restoration under Justinian in 544AD, and another revival led by Charlemagne in 800AD. The end-time Beast power of Revelation will be a final revival of the ancient Roman Empire that first reigned from about 31BC to 476AD.
The end-time revival of this ancient empire is also pictured in Revelation 13. John wrote what he saw in vision: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (vv. 1–2).
Other commentators have also identified the Beast of Revelation as the Roman Empire. This includes the Douay-Rheims edition of the Bible, translated from the Latin Vulgate by Roman Catholic authorities. In its notes, the Douay-Rheims makes this comment concerning Revelation 13: “The picture of the first beast is based on Daniel 7. This beast is the figure of kingdoms of the world, kingdoms founded on passion and selfishness, which in every age are antagonistic to Christ and seek to oppress the servants of God. Imperial Rome represents this power.” Even this Roman Catholic source acknowledges the Roman Empire’s identity as the Beast power! Additionally, in its notes on Revelation 17:11, the Douay-Rheims comments: “The beast spoken of here seems to be the Roman Empire, as in chapter 13.” Not surprisingly, the Douay-Rheims makes no connection between the Roman Empire and the “woman”—the false church—that “rides” (controls) that empire. But even serious Roman Catholic scholars here do not deny the identity of the Beast!
Even today, many Europeans already envision the European Union as a new Roman Empire. As Tomorrow’s World writer and telecast presenter John Ogwyn reported on the Tomorrow’s World telecast: “In the fall of 2004, a remarkable exhibition opened in a circus tent pitched right across from the European Union Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The theme of the exhibit was best captured by a banner that proclaimed ‘The New Roman Empire.’ This exhibition narrated 50 years of European Union history, and in the words of one prominent British newspaper, ‘projects events into the future in an unusually frank display of European ambition’” (“The New Roman Empire,” January 20–26, 2005 ).
Will the European Union become a new Roman Empire? Last year, Tomorrow’s World European regional editor Douglas Winnail wrote: “Europe’s modern leaders are still trying to unite Europe on a Roman model. When the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, laying the foundation of European unity, the participants stated that ‘we felt like Romans that day…we were consciously recreating the Roman Empire once more’” (“Shadows Over Europe,” January-February 2005, p. 13).
Bible prophecy reveals that a great superpower will rise in Europe. And it will be a revival of the Roman Empire. This great power will be political, military and economic. You can read about its economic power in Revelation 18. The current European Union is headed toward completing all three dimensions of that power. Germany is presently the leading nation of the European Union. As we have pointed out in previous articles in this magazine, Bible prophecy shows that in the endtime, God will use the biblical nation of Assyria to punish His people, as He has done before. As regular readers of this magazine know, modern Germany is the descendant of ancient Assyria, which God will use to punish the modern descendants of the ancient house of Israel—the peoples of the United States and British-descended countries. For more information on this vital topic, please request your free copy of our informative booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
Bible prophecy also reveals that this European superpower—the Beast power—will invade the Middle East. The prophet Daniel foretold that the end-time king of the north would enter the “glorious land” (Daniel 11:41). And do you remember what Jesus said about this? “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20).
Watch developments in Europe and the Middle East! As we have seen, the Beast power will even fight against Christ when He returns to Jerusalem. But Christ will conquer all who oppose Him. The Apostle John writes in Revelation 19:19, “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:19–21).
The returning Messiah, Jesus Christ, will conquer Satan—the power behind the Beast and all its allies. Satan will be thrown into the “bottomless pit” (Revelation 20:3). Christ will then establish the Kingdom of God on earth, ushering in a “Millennium” of peace and preparing billions of human beings for eternity as members of His Family. May God help you to love, obey and serve Him so that you, too, may be a part of that ruling and serving Family under your Savior, Jesus Christ, forever!
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posted August 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Michael, do you really expect anyone to read all the stuff you pasted into this blog????? That was more then a little bit of “overkill”. if you’ll excuse the word. TOOOOO MUCH stuff…
This issue has nothing to do, IMO with the Catholic bishops or any other religious body…it is about, IMO, equal, and economical health care for all our citizens. It is about a woman’s right to choose in the case of abortions….continuing to allow safe, clean terminations. For those who object to children, and adults learning sex education as well as forms of birth control, then just continue to have babies….but for those who would like to enjoy their sex lives without worrying about an unplanned pregnancy, then that should be readily available.
Health care should be the right of all US citizens. Hopefully that will happen in the not too distant future.

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David in AZ

posted August 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I think most people in the United states and most Catholics could care less what the U.S. bishops think about health care. After the hierarchy and priests riding the backs of children for so long what do they expect?

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Outside the box

posted August 10, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I do not understand why Michael’s extended quotations that have nothing to do with this topic are included here.

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