POp Benedict xv shocked the world by becoming the first pope to resign since the Middle Ages. After leaking confidential documents to the press, the Pope’s butler exposed power struggles Within the Vatican bureaucracy, Benedict decided that he was too frail to implement the reforms needed to repair the Roman Curia. So Pope Francis was elected with the mandate to reform the Vatican.
Francis went to work and appointed a group of cardinals to advise him on the reorganization of the Roman Curia (the Vatican’s administration). Now the Pope and these cardinals have finished their constitution. Titled predicate gospel, this new constitution was published in Italian on March 19th and came into force on June 5th. But the official English translation (Preach the gospel) was only released on June 29th. It reveals the most radical shock to the Roman Curia in a generation.
Most of the coverage of the Vatican constitution revolves around the pope’s decision to allow lay Catholics (including women) to head curial departments and his decision to include a clergy abuse commission in church government. But these developments are far from the most significant reforms implemented in predicate gospel. The most significant reforms reorganize all Curia activities under a simple mission: to assist the Pope in his quest to convert all nations.
The preamble to the constitution states: “[Preaching the gospel] is the task that the Lord Jesus entrusted to his disciples. This mandate represents “the most important service that the Church can render to each individual and to all mankind in the modern world.” To this end she is called to proclaim the gospel of the Son of God, Christ the Lord, in order to awaken the hearing of the faith in all peoples.”
With this mission statement, the rest of the document is a blueprint of the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church. Regarding the Curia, the document states: “The Roman Curia is at the service of the Pope, who, as the successor of Peter, is the eternal and visible source and basis of the unity of both the bishops and the entire communion faithful to the Pope. … The Roman Curia does not stand between the Pope and the bishops, but is at the service of both …”
In the centuries since Pope Paul iii founded the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the idea has emerged that the Pope is the head of a Curia that governs the Church. predicate gospel restores the fact that each diocese is headed by a bishop who reports directly to the pope. The offices of the Curia do not govern the Church and exist only to assist both the Pope and those bishops in specific duties. The Pope’s much-discussed decision to allow lay Catholics to head curial departments is intended to underscore that the Roman Curia exercises no ecclesiastical authority.
After emphasizing that the Pope is the head of the Church, predicate gospel establishes a powerful Secretary of State to oversee the temporal administration of Vatican City. It also gives top credit to a new Department of Evangelization. This dicastery brings together the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which coordinated Catholic missionary activities, with the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which has the task of reversing the secularization of Western countries. The Dicastery of Evangelization replaces all other departments, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is responsible for defending doctrine.
Some Catholics fear that prioritizing evangelization over doctrine will liberalize the church, but Francis condemns its rigidity. In comments posted June 14, Francis told a gathering of Jesuit editors that “Restorationism has come to gag that [Second Vatican Council]’ before adding that he knew priests for whom the 16th-century Council of Trent was more memorable than Vatican II.
Still, Francis may be more restorationist than the restorationists. For the past 500 years, the Vatican has been run primarily by bureaucrats intent on defending Catholic dogma against Protestantism and secularism at all costs. But the 6th-century Pope Gregory the Great wrote a letter He advised Augustine of Canterbury to compromise with pagan beliefs in order to bring Anglo-Saxon tribes into the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was established by merging pagan practices with Christian doctrine.
In 1983, Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the Vatican might issue a more flexible moral code. “The moral and spiritual trend in the world is toward more liberalism—more permissiveness,” he wrote during John Paul’s administration ii. “Now even the Roman Catholic Church is relaxing to stay alive in an immoral and unjust world and giving people what they like to call ‘their rights.'”
Mr. Armstrong understood the pagan history of Catholicism. “Where does the Sunday celebration come from?” he invited in Who or what is the prophetic beast? “Not with the Church, but with the pagan religion of the Roman Empire! It is the day when the ancient pagans gathered at sunrise, faced east (as they do today on Easter Sunday morning) and worshiped the rising sun. It was Constantine, Emperor of the Roman Empire, not a Pope, who made Sunday the official so-called Christian day of rest. But it was enforced-people were caused to embrace it universally—by the Church!”
After explaining the origins of Sunday worship, Mr. Armstrong explained how the Catholic Church adopted Rome’s governmental structure. “Where, then, did human church government get its present form?” he asked elsewhere in his book. “‘The first pope in the truest sense of the word was Leo I (advertisement 440–461),” he says Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastic Literature, Vol. 7, page 629. To him the form of government of the Roman Empire was the most wonderful thing on earth. He applied its principles to the church, organized the church into a government, and formed the papacy.”
in the The incredible human potential Mr. Armstrong explained how the gospel that Jesus Christ preached about the coming kingdom of God was replaced with a substitute “gospel.” around the person of Christ – to proclaim the messengers, but to suppress the message.
The provinces of the Roman Empire were called dioceses long before the bishoprics of the Catholic Church were called dioceses and the chief high priest of the ancient Roman college of popes was named Pontifex Maximus long before Pope Francis adopted @Pontifex for his Twitter handle.
The Vatican’s new constitution springs from its imperial spirit and its quest for dominance. The word “Catholic” means universalthe Pope wants to bring all peoples under Roman rule.
The Bible often uses a woman to symbolize a church (eg, 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-27; Revelation 19:7). Isaiah 47 describes a “woman” called “daughter of Babylon,” “daughter of the Chaldeans,” and “lady of the kingdoms.” This woman says, “I will not know…the loss of children.”
It is a well-known fact that the Chaldeans of the Neo-Babylonian Empire migrated to Italy during and after the reign of Emperor Augustus. The book New Testament Survey, through Merrill Tenney used as a textbook at Herbert W. Armstrong College, describing the Eastern mystery religions that became dominant in Rome as Chaldean immigrants poured into the Italian peninsula. Many of the teachings of these Eastern mystery religions were adopted by the early Christian church; hence, Roman Catholicism is the “daughter of Babylon” that the prophet Isaiah spoke out against.
When this church says: “[N]Either I experience the loss of children,” she says, not wanting to allow the various Protestant denominations that have rebelled against her to remain independent. The Pope’s new evangelical crusade is an attempt to woo them back. Although the Vatican is unlikely to make sweeping doctrinal changes, the church can make strategic compromises — standing firm in one area while compromising in another — to attract more converts. But all people under Rome’s authority will be forced to introduce Sunday worship if the Vatican accumulates enough power to enforce its dictates.
To understand what the Bible says about the religion that will rule the western world in the last days, request a free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s pamphlet Who or what is the prophetic beast? as well as a free copy of The True Story of God’s True Church, through Trumpet Editor-in-Chief Gerald Flurry.