Tag Archives: Roman Catholic Church

“…the noon[day] of the Papacy was the midnight of the world.”

“…the noon[day] of the Papacy was the midnight of the world.”
(James A. Wylie, “The History of Protestantism,” vol. 1, p. 16, 1878).
“That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no powers of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings.” (W. E. H. Lecky, in “History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirits of Rationalism in Europe,” vol. 2, p. 32, 1910 ed.)   “Under these bloody maxims [previously mentioned], those persecutions were carried on, from the eleventh and twelfth centuries almost to the present day, which stand out on the page of history. After the signal of open martyrdom had been given in the canons of Orleans, there followed the extirpation of the Albigenses under the form of a crusade, the establishment of the Inquisition, the cruel attempts to extinguish the Waldenses, the martyrdoms of the Lollards, the cruel wars to exterminate the Bohemians, the burning of Huss and Jerome, and multitudes of other confessors, before the Reformation; and afterwards, the ferocious cruelties practised in the Netherlands, the martyrdoms of Queen Mary’s reign, the extinction by fire and sword of the Reformation in Spain and Italy, by fraud and open persecution in Poland, the massacre of Bartholomew, the persecution of the Huguenots by the League, the extirpation of the Vaudois, and all the cruelties and prejudices connected with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. These are the more open and conspicuous facts which explain the prophecy, besides the slow and secret murders of the holy tribunal of the Inquisition.” (“The First Two Visions of Daniel,” Rev. T. R. Birks, M. A., London, 1845, pages 248, 249.)   The number of the victims of the Inquisition in Spain, is given in “The History of the Inquisition in Spain,” by Llorente, formerly secretary of the Inquisition, pages 206-208. This authority acknowledges that more than 300,000 suffered persecution in Spain alone, of whom 31,912 died in the flames. Millions more were slain for their faith throughout Europe.  The Western Watchman, (a Roman Catholic publication) of St. Louis, Dec. 24, 1908 boldly argues that “The church has persecuted. Only a tyro in church history will deny that. . . . One hundred and fifty years after Constantine the Donatists were persecuted, and sometimes put to death. . . . Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish Inquisition. Wherever and whenever there is honest Catholicity, there will be a clear distinction drawn between truth and error, and Catholicity and all forms of error. When she thinks it good to use physical force, she will use it” (see “Bible Readings for the Home Circle,” pp.220-221, sec. 4 “Notes,” 1942-48 eds.) http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Books/BR1947.pdf    “It is important that we should clearly grasp one great historical fact; i.e. the rule of Rome has never, since it first commenced, ceased to exist, save once, for a very brief period during the Gothic invasions [see Daniel 7:8, the Gothic invasions reduced the western Roman empire (the 4th beast of Dan.7) into 10 kingdoms (ten horns) by 476 A.D., until Papal Rome (the little horn) via the eastern armies of Justinian and the “Justinian Decree” of 533 A.D. (which elevated the Bishop of Rome to “head of all the churches” and “the corrector of heretics”) regained its supremacy, subduing 7 and uprooting 3 (the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths) by 538 A.D., beginning 1260 years of Papal supremacy (see Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2; 11:3; 12:6; 12:14; 13:5) which ended in 1798 when Napoleon’s General Berthier entered Rome and took the pope captive, abolished the Papal government and establishing a secular one]. It has changed in character, as we have seen, but it has continued. Rome ruled the known world at the first advent of Christ, and still rules hundreds of millions of mankind, and will continue so to do right up till the second advent of Christ. So this prophecy [Daniel 7] teaches; for not until the Son of man takes the dominion of the earth, and establishes a kingdom that shall never pass away, is the monster representing Roman rule destroyed.  The rule of Rome, we repeat, has never ceased. It was a secular pagan power for five or six centuries; it has been an ecclesiastical and apostate Christian power ever since, that is to say, for twelve or thirteen centuries. There lay a brief period between these two main stages, during which professing Christian emperors ruled from Rome, followed by an interval when, for a time, it seemed as if the great city had received a fatal blow from her Gothic captors. It seemed so; but it was not so, for the word of God cannot be broken. The rule of Rome revived in a new form, and was as real under the popes of the thirteenth century as it had been under the Caesars of the first. It was as oppressive, cruel, and bloody under Innocent III. as it had been under Nero and Domitian. The reality was the same, though the forms had changed. The Caesars did not persecute the witnesses of Jesus more severely and bitterly than did the popes; Diocletian did not destroy the saints or oppose the gospel more than did the Inquisition of Papal days. Rome is one and the same all through, both locally and morally. One dreadful wild beast represents her, though the symbol, like the history it prefigures, has two parts. There was the undivided stage, and there has been the tenfold stage. The one is Rome pagan, the other Rome Papal; the one is the old empire, the other the modern pontificate; the one is the empire of the Caesars, the other is the Roman Papacy.” (H. Grattan Guinness, “Romanism and the Reformation,” pp. 39-40, 1887.)    “The desire for Worldly Power began to manifest itself on a broad scale in the Church in the 4th century, when the Roman Empire ceased its persecution, and made Christianity the State Religion. Then the Spirit of Imperial Rome passed into the Church. The Church ceased to be a Witness-Bearing institution to Christ, and became a vast Authoritative institution, usurping to itself authority to Rule the World. When the Roman Empire fell, the Church healed its death-stroke. Rome came to life again, thru the aid of the Church; and for a thousand years Ruled the World in the name of Christ, but in the spirit and manner of earthly kings. The Popes of Rome were the heirs and successors of the Caesars of Rome. The Vatican is where the palace of the Caesars was. The Popes have lived in all the pomp and splendor of the Caesars, and have claimed all the authority the Caesars claimed, and more. The Papal palace throughout the centuries has been among the most luxurious in alt the world. The Pope’s income annually runs into millions. The “abominations” and appalling immoralities of the Popes of the Middle Ages are well known. The horrors of the Inquisition, ordered by the Popes, were far more extensive and brutal than the persecutions by the Caesars had been, and constitute the most revolting picture in all history. “Scarlet” is the color of the Papacy. The Papal throne Is scarlet. It is borne by 12 men clad in scarlet. The cardinals’ hats and robes are scarlet. In no place on earth is there displayed more pomp and show and earthly splendor than at the coronation of a Pope. For the Church, judged by New Testament standards, this is Adultery with the World. There is scarcely a detail of the picture in chapter 17 but what may apply directly to the Papacy.” (Halley’s Pocket Bible Handbook, pg.643, 1948.)  “The healing of the death-stroke [Rev. 13:3] refers to the rise of Papal Rome out of the ruins of Pagan Rome, and its domination of the world on a vaster extent, and for a longer time, and with a more despotic hand, than any of its predecessors. The blasphemies refer to the claims of the Popes to infallibility, authority to forgive sins, grant indulgences, etc. The war on the saints is taken to refer to the Papal persecutions of the Middle Ages and early Reformation Era, in which, some historians have estimated, over 50,000,000 martyrs perished at the hands of Papal Rome, and which constituted one of the cruelest and most brutal chapters in the history of mankind. The 42 months, 1260 days, is taken to mean 1260 years, the approximate duration of the Papacy as a World-Power, 6th to 18th centuries.” (Halley’s Pocket Bible Handbook, pg.636, 1948.)

reuters Exclusive: In clash with pope’s climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights

https://i1.wp.com/graphics.thomsonreuters.com/15/09/POPE-USA-DRILLING.jpg

Casting the fight against climate change as an urgent moral duty, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels.

Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found.

And in one archdiocese — Oklahoma City — Church officials have signed three new oil and gas leases since Francis’s missive on the environment, leasing documents show.

On Francis’ first visit to the United States this week, the business dealings suggest that some leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church are practicing a different approach to the environment than the pontiff is preaching.

Catholic institutions are not forbidden from dealing with or investing in the energy industry. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) guidelines on ethical investing warn Catholics and Catholic institutions against investing in companies related to abortion, contraception, pornography, tobacco, and war, but do not suggest avoiding energy stocks, and do not address the ownership of energy production interests.

A Reuters review of county documents found 235 oil and gas leasing deals signed by Catholic Church authorities in Texas and Oklahoma with energy and land firms since 2010, covering 56 counties across the two states. None of the Texas leases in the review were signed after the pope’s encyclical.

Those two states have been at the forefront of a boom in U.S. energy production in recent years, often through the controversial hydraulic fracturing production method, known as fracking.

It was not clear whether production on the Church leases was through fracking – a process that involves injecting sand, water and chemicals underground to crack open rock formations — or more conventional drilling methods.

The Church authorities receive a royalty ranging from 15 to 25 percent of the value of what is taken out of the ground, according to the leases, which are public documents filed with county clerk offices. Reuters’ search method did not capture leases signed before 2010 but which may still be in force.

(Click here for a graphic: reut.rs/1JcaVcB)

“There may be some kind of inconsistency here between what the pope has said and what the Church is doing in U.S. oil and gas country,” said Mickey Thompson, a consultant and former director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

He added that since the Church often acquires its mineral rights through donations from parishioners, there could be “legal or fiduciary reasons” it has sought to lease them out. It was unclear if that was the case with the leases signed by Church institutions in Texas and Oklahoma, including the three leases signed in Oklahoma since June.

A USCCB official and a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City archdiocese both declined to comment.

The Vatican does not have direct power over investment decisions taken by dioceses in the United States, a responsibility reserved for their bishops.

Members of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy have fallen out of line with papal administrations before. Last year, for example, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke was moved out of a senior post in the Vatican after clashing with Francis’ more liberal views on homosexuality and Catholic re-marriage.

MORAL DISSONANCE

A Reuters examination of financial disclosures by U.S. Catholic institutions in August found that they have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing to oil sands producers. One U.S. archdiocese, Chicago, told Reuters it planned to review its energy shareholdings in light of the pope’s June message.

But the Church’s direct links to the fossil fuels industry through the Oklahoma and Texas lease deals highlight a potentially deeper moral dissonance in the wake of the pope’s unambiguous attack on human-caused climate change.

Francis makes his first visit to the United States from Tuesday through Sept. 27 with stops in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

In Texas, dioceses that granted oil leases in recent years included Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.

Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the Diocese of Forth Worth, said the diocese received $31,661 from its leases in fiscal year 2015. He declined to say whether the diocese was considering reviewing its oil and gas leasing program in light of the pope’s encyclical.

“The way the leases are written it is very difficult to cancel a lease that is in production,” Svacina said. “The Diocese always reviews the viability and desirability of renewing a lease at the conclusion of a current lease,” he added, without elaborating.

In Oklahoma, about one quarter of the roughly 165 Church lease deals signed since 2010 were granted by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, with most of the rest granted by the Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma and the St. Gregory’s Catholic University of Oklahoma.

DONATED RIGHTS

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley signed the most recent deal on Sept. 3, giving privately held oil company Comanche Resources rights to operate on 160 acres in Major County in exchange for 18.75 percent of the value of the oil and gas produced.

The two-year extendable lease also permits Comanche to lay pipes, build storage tanks, power stations, and other installations. (Click here to see the lease: (reut.rs/1F9DdcM)

Coakley signed similar deals with energy companies Continental Resources and Lance Ruffell Oil in July and August, with royalties of 25 and 20 percent respectively.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese declined to comment, and efforts to reach Coakley were not successful. The spokeswoman also declined comment on behalf of the Catholic Foundation, where Coakley serves as chairman.

An official at St. Gregory’s said the university had been given significant mineral rights by donors, adding that the royalties collected had averaged about $405,000 over the past three years, or 3.7 percent of revenue. The official asked not to be identified.

While the Church provides little data on its finances, information from other Catholic institutions in Oklahoma and Texas showed oil and gas royalties yielded a small portion of overall revenue in recent years, partly reflecting a slide in energy prices.

A review of audited statements issued by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City between 2010 and 2013 showed that the oil and gas royalties made up 2 percent of total revenue, or $1.6 million, over that period. That share peaked in 2012 at 5 percent, or $704,399, according to the audited statements. The other Oklahoma institutions did not provide data.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Jordan McMurrough, said the archdiocese had been collecting small energy royalties on its mineral rights since the 1950s, but that they currently make up less than 1 percent of revenue.

“The archdiocese currently does not plan changes to its long-standing practice of granting oil and gas leases,” he said, adding that Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller “is well aware of and deeply respects” Pope Francis’ encyclical.

He said one-third of the archdiocese’s mineral rights were donated, with the rest “by acquisition for church purposes over the years.”

Officials at the other dioceses in Texas did not respond to requests for comment.

Other companies that have signed energy leasing deals with the Church in recent years include Apache Corp, Cabot, Chesapeake, Devon Energy, and Range Resources.

All have been active in a fracking boom over the past several years.

A spokeswoman for Apache Corp confirmed the company has “a very limited” number of leases with the Church, but declined to comment further. The other firms did not respond to requests for comment.

Fracking has led to a surge in U.S. production by making new reserves available to the industry, and contributed to the slump in world energy prices. But the drilling boom has raised worries about pollution, climate change, and potentially damaging earthquakes from wastewater injection — fears that the oil industry says are overblown.

The American Petroleum Institute has said technological advances and efficient regulation have allowed drillers to raise production without contaminating water supplies or increasing emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/us-pope-usa-drilling-idUSKCN0RM0AY20150922