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Chapter 45

Paul VI
21 June 1963 ó 6 August 1978

 

Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan and former Vatican diplomat, might have been elected pope in 1958 had he been a cardinal at that time, for he was freely mooted as papable then. But he did not receive his cardinalís hat until bestowed by John XXIII later in 1958. At the time of his birth on September 27, 1897, in northern Italy, it was not essential for a pope to be a cardinal at the time of his election, but in the modern era it certainly had become almost an unstipulated prerequisite.

Numbers of men who were not yet cardinals have been elected pope in the past. History attests that one pope was ordained a priest after he was elected pope. This was the first John XXIII who was later declared to be an antipope.

Montini had worked in the Vatican during the crucial years of the Nazi era. He was to preside over the last three sessions of Vatican II. The concept of Papal Infallibility survived Vatican II. Therein lay future problems for the world. A few branches had been lopped off the tree but the roots remained firmly embedded in the soil.

October 29, 30, 1964, were sensational days at Vatican II. Cardinal Lťger, Archbishop of Montreal, spoke for a more liberal view of the purpose of sexual intercourse in marriage. Cardinal Leon Joseph Suenens, Archbishop of Brussels, spoke for a reexamination on the matter of the use of artificial contraception, and once more the Patriarch of Antioch intervened in the proceedings claiming that the Roman Catholic Churchís stand on contraception forced Catholics to live in violation of Church law. These prelates, perhaps, did not count upon an "infallible" pope thwarting their initiatives. To the pain of numerous lay Roman Catholics, their lives were to continue to be lived in breach of Roman Catholic canon law.

Cardinal Alfredo Ottavani, the head of the Holy Office, spoke in opposition. He correctly stated,

I am not pleased with the text where it says that married couples can decide for themselves the number of children to have. This has never been heard in the Church before.

"The methods to be followed in these [birth control] studies," said Cardinal Suenens at a press conference, "would have to be submitted to the pope and judged by his supreme authority." Thus faded the hopes of millions of Roman Catholics. And thus was reconfirmed, not only the centralized church structure, but, implicitly, the Infallibility of the pope. Despite its powerful use to bring prelates, priests and laity into line, we wonder whether any pope in his inward heart has ever believed it. Surely a study of the lives of many of his predecessors would cause a pontiff to wonder.

Peter de Rosa was not setting out to vilify his church nor was he making unsubstantiated claims when he recorded that,

among the popes were a large number of married men, some of whom gave up their wives and children in exchange for the papal office. Many were sons of priests, bishops and popes; some were bastards; one was a widower, another an ex-slave; several were murderers, some unbelievers, some were hermits, some were heretics, sadists and sodomites, many became popes by buying the papacy (simony), and continued their days selling holy things to rake in the money; one at least was a Satan-worshipper; some fathered illegitimate children, some were fornicators and adulterers on a grand scale; some were astonishingly old, some even more astonishingly young; some were poisoned; others strangled, worst of all were those who worshipped a granite God. (Vicars of Christ, pp. 39, 40)

We do not cite this statement in order to take a cheap shot at the Papacy. All churches have skeletons in their cupboards, for Satan is never slow to attack professed Christians. But we do so in order to underline how preposterous is the notion of placing our faith in any human being, let alone declaring infallible 264 men, all too many possessing evil characters, when they spoke on behalf of their church. The Scriptures strictly forbid such folly.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (Psalm 118:9)

Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22)

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)

The decision of the Council to permit the service of the Mass to be delivered in the language of the people rather than Latin caused much consternation in certain circles.

Archbishop Marcel LefŤbvre of France believed Vatican II to be heretical. He insisted that the Mass was only valid when Latin was used. While this seems to Protestants to be archaic thinking and a matter of small moment, LefŤbvre struck a chord in the hearts of many devout Roman Catholics. The depth of LefŤbvreís ire can be gauged by his statement upon hearing of John Paul Iís death. He said,

It is difficult to believe that the death is natural considering all the creatures of the devil in the Vatican. (David Yallop, In Godís Name, Bantam Books, London 1984, p. 239)

LefŤbvreís followers refused to recognize John Paul Iís election as pope because this was the first Papal Conclave in which, as had been decreed by Paul VI, all cardinals over the age of eighty were excluded. Traditionalists believed that the introduction of this restriction invalidated the election.

It is a feature of Christian life that many professing Christ do not discern the difference in that, when biblical imperatives are under attack, we must at any cost stand for truth for they are divine imperatives; whereas in contrast, in matters of opinion unrelated to biblical faith, the will of the majority must prevail in order to maintain the unity of the church. The followers of Archbishop LefŤbvre felt that Pope John Paul Iís selection of the names of the two conveners of Vatican II was ominous.

Malachi Martin was a close intimate of Cardinal Augustin Bea; both were Jesuits. It may have been from Bea that Martin gleaned some details of the voting in the Conclave which elected Paul VI. In his book The Keys of this Blood, Martin carefully reveals (pp. 607, 608) so as not to compromise his source, who would have been sworn to secrecy, that the conservative Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, Archbishop of Genoa, was elected but when asked,"Acceptasne fieri in Romanum Pontificem?" (Do you accept to be made pope?) he replied, "Non accepto" (I do not accept). It was only then that Giovanni Montini was elected. He was thought to be more liberal than Siri, but, if this rumor is correct, it may have been the initial success of Siri in the Conclave that caused Paul VI to pursue a less than liberal course in his pontificate.

The ecumenical thrust of Vatican II was fully pursued. The aims of the Ecumenical Movement seem so eminently noble that few saw the ultimate end. The major Scriptural passage used to drive the ecumenical movement was John 17:21ó23.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:21ó23)

Who would oppose efforts to fulfill this beautiful prayer of Christ? The answer is, No true Christian. Yet we dare to oppose the ecumenical movement. Why? Because Christís prayer is prefaced by the very condition which He lays down for unity. That preface states:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. (John 17:17ó20)

Here we see that Christís call for unity is not undefined. There is a Satanic counterfeit: it is unity at almost any price. But genuine unity can only be based upon truth that sanctifies the life, as Christ emphasized twice in His preface. Any other platform of unity must be eschewed, for it will serve the enemy of truth, the archenemy of mankind, Satan.

Thus union with Rome cannot be a valid aim for those who understand her disregard of Bible truth. Rome has counterfeited almost every Bible doctrine: the Mass is a counterfeit of the Lordís Supper; Christening is a counterfeit of true adult baptism by immersion:

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. (Matthew 3:16, emphasis supplied)

Penance denies the forgiveness of Christ of the repentant soul;

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Confirmation counterfeits the study of Scriptural truth before baptism;

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19, 20, emphasis supplied)

Extreme Unction which is said to cleanse "the soul from venial [non-mortal] sin [and] takes away guilt of unknown mortal sins." (the Complete Catholic Handbook for the Latter Days, Britons Catholic Library, approved by the Roman Catholic archbishops and bishops in England and Wales, undated but sold in Australian Roman Catholic book stores in the 1990s). Only Christís mediation for us (1 Timothy 2:5) can achieve cleansing from sin. The Bible promotes no multiple categories of sin. The hierarchial structure of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Holy Orders was not designed of Christ.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Matthew 23:8,9)

Even the Sacrament of Marriage, so apparently honorable has placed in the hands of the priestly celebrants power that is only Christ bestowed. It "Increases habitual grace." (Complete Catholic Handbook for the Latter Days, op.cit., p. 54)

Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

The errors of each of the seven "holy sacraments" mentioned above, which are the center of Roman Catholic faith and practice, are but a few of the counterfeits of Godís truth which no Bible believer can in conscience accept.

But pursuing the Vaticanís ecumenical aims, four Provincial globalist situation rooms have been set up by the Vatican following Vatican II. The first of these seeks means of bringing Islam into the Roman fold.

The second considersó

several groups of Christians ([Seventh-day] Adventists, Baptistic and Evangelical sects) and non-Christians (Christian Scientists, Jehovahís Witnesses, Mormons, Unitarians), who are as exclusive minded as their Muslim counterparts, but without the expressly political ambitions and the revolutionary extremism. (Martin, op.cit., p. 285)

The third situation room explores means of bringing the various Eastern Orthodox churches and the Anglican Church back to the body of Rome. The fourth situation room seeks the conversion of non-Christian religions including "animism, Shintoism, Hinduism and Buddhism." (Martin, op cit., p. 289)

Rome is not prepared to compromise her faith and practice, except in trivial matters, in order to achieve unity, nor is there the least intention to abrogate any of her counterfeit doctrines in order to achieve her aims. Malachi Martin makes this plain in the pages of his book which deal with these Provincial Globalist groups (pp. 282ó292). The old saying that all roads lead to Rome has never possessed more veracity than in the Ecumenical Movement, which has besotted the minds of so many non-Roman Catholics.

We can expect that the unknown clerics manning these situation rooms scan the web sites of the various persuasions they are designed to target, ever probing their weaknesses. These problems most faiths display on their web sites for their fellow believersí eyes, almost oblivious that in Rome others are likely searching their screens with very different motives and agenda.

When, for example, Rome notes the discord in the Anglican Church over the ordination of women priests it is to her advantage to foster the very doctrine she opposes, for thousands of British Anglicans have returned to Rome in consternation believing, correctly, that the Anglican Church has breached Bible order in their decision to ordain women to the priesthood. It may not be doubted that when the Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Peter Carnley, was voted Anglican Primate of Australia in 1999, Rome rejoiced, for he was in the forefront of ordaining women to the priesthood.

Thus while Protestants and Orthodox Christians warmly welcomed many of the ecumenical initiatives of Vatican II and the new spirit of conciliation which apparently was exuded, Rome had not in the least lost sight of her ultimate plan to bring all men under her religious and political sway.

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes that the first Provincial Global group has a stiff task ahead in the face of just under one billion Moslems inhabiting North Africa, Asia and Southeast Europe. It has exploited our lady of Fatima to the fullest since Mohammedís daughter was named Fatima. That may appear to be a tissue-thin link, but it has aroused no little interest in the Islamic world.

Rome knows that the second Provincial Globalist group is dealing with a group which is proselytizing Roman Catholics. Yet through the BEM (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry) accord signed in Lima, Peru in 1982, Rome has made giant strides. That accord agreed to recognize both forms of Christian baptism as valid, even though one is scriptural and one is an unscriptural counterfeit. The same applies to accepting the blasphemous Mass as equally valid with the Communion Service, but Rome ever believes that the Mass alone is valid. In the matter of Ministry, Rome has hit upon a winner. It also agreed to the concept that evangelism be confined to non-Christians, pagans and atheists. Of course Rome will never abide by a prohibition on inviting other Christians into its fold. But within Protestantism, in acceptance of this BEM document, there has arisen a concept of the establishment of churches for the unchurched. Thus the gospel truth is effectively withheld from Roman Catholics. Most of the churches, in any case, are bereft of true spirituality, and have degenerated into entertainment centers, being strongly influenced by the charismatic movement and the celebration worship form, the latter arising out of Vatican II.

Paul VI set the precedent of widely travelling around the world. He earned the designation, "The Pilgrim Pope." But Paulís travels were designed for specific purposes. Some were simply stopovers on journeys to other locations. Among these were brief visits to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Samoa and Sri Lanka. He traveled to Australia, Colombia, India, Philippines and Uganda to attend Eucharistic celebrations. But he did visit Israel and Turkey to spend time in discussions with the Greek Orthodox fraternity and he visited New York in order to create history by speaking at the United Nations.

He had set foot in Islamic lands such as Indonesia, Iran and Turkey and Buddhist nations including Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, the Hindu nation of India and the Jewish nation of Israel. It can scarcely be doubted that the ecumenical thrust of Vatican II was not far from his mind.

Paul VI had led the way and John Paul II later made Paulís travels appear to be minimal by comparison. By the middle of 2001 John Paul had visited 126 nations. Every continent except Antarctica has been visited. John Paul has received warm welcomes from religious leaders of every color and stripe and from those who profess no faith of any kind. John Paulís itineraries have been even more ecumenically directed than Paulís. He has visited Australia, our homeland, twice, in November, 1986 and January, 1995, and news reports claim that he is planning a third visit at the end of 2001. This seems excessive for a nation which is predominantly non-Roman Catholic. Surely in his busy schedule and in view of his ill-health his aims must exceed pastoral visits to his flock.

One nation which did reject a papal visit in 1976 during Paul VIís pontificate was Poland. Maybe the Polish Communist Party saw the future more clearly than some suppose. How different this was from the tumultuous welcome received by John Paul II three years later when he arrived in Warsaw on June 2, 1979.

These policies were part of the Vatican II initiative of aggiornamento which was an updating of the Papacy in order to fling open its windows to the world.

Incredibly, Paul VI narrowly avoided dismissal from the Papal throne. He contemplated alterations to the Mass which some cardinals within the Curia believed would destroy it. Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci informed Paul that if he went forward with his alterations they would publicly denounce him, absolve all Roman Catholics from allegiance to him and have him deposed as a heretic. Apparently Paul did not consider the issue sufficiently significant to test the resolve of Ottaviani and Bacci or perhaps he felt it prudent, in order to retain his rank, to retreat from his intention. Had such taken place, it would have been the Papal scandal of the twentieth century.

Nevertheless Paul did manage to have generally accepted the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass which he ordered to replace the traditional Mass on March 26, 1970. Critics, however were not few. They declared that the claimed presence of the actual body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine, respectively, had been diluted in the ceremony. But little by little the traditional Mass has returned to popularity. Rome could never finally discard such blasphemy. (See the chapter entitled "Blasphemy.")

Paul VI did summon sufficient courage to turn the tide which was running in favor of the use of artificial forms of birth control, a stance even strengthened by John Paul II. Paulís Encyclical Humane Vitae (Human Life), broke the hearts of both liberal priests and laity by upholding the Roman Catholic Churchís traditional view on the issue.

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries successive popes had at times focused so much on Mary that she appeared to take preeminence over Jesus in their supplications. On November 21, 1964, Paul VI proclaimed Mary to be the Mother of the Church. His successor once removed, John Paul II, freely spoke of Mary as our Mediatrix, defying Scripture which emphatically states,

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)

On at least six occasions before the turn of the millennium he referred to Mary as Co-Redemptrix. How could a poor sinful mortal, however noble, ever achieve such a status, which alone was the preserve of Deity? Or did the Roman Catholic Church now see Mary as their goddess?

The continued elevation of that virtuous woman, Mary, beyond her rightful estate, has greatly weakened the Roman Catholic Church. It has led to the Marian Movement which reports a plethora of Marian apparitions worldwide every year. Numerous words come from "her" mouth while the Roman clergy fail to utter a warning of the Biblical danger of spiritism in the Christian church in the last days. Pius XIIís false Dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary to Heaven has dispelled proper caution in assessing spiritual phenomena.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

Since Mary is dead, this caution is all the more applicable. Paul VI would have done far better if he had proclaimed Christ as the Head of the true Christian Church.

Marian apparitions leave Roman Catholics vulnerable to suggestions from Satan, mouthed by a "sweet, loving woman." The devil is full of charm when it suits his vile purposes. Already Marian apparitions have exalted errors such as the Mass, Confession to priests and Sunday observance (Ted Flynn, Video tape, Prophecy and the New Times, Maxkol Institute, 1997). Such declarations of error as truth immediately direct the Bible student to the true source of such apparitions.

Paul VI died on August 6, 1978. His pontificate of fifteen years duration would never be described as great. He appeared neither to fully espouse Vatican II nor to resolutely oppose it. After all, he presided over much of it. It is difficult when reviewing his tenure of office to note any further healing of the deadly wound as was seen during the far shorter reign of his predecessor, John XXIII, or during that of his successor, John Paul II, whose policies led to the healing, totally and utterly, of that wound. He simply maintained the almost healed wound as he found it when he took office.

 


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