Paul IV forced Jews to sell their properties, confined them to ghettos, treated them as slaves and reduced them to the status of rag-pickers. Pope Gregory XIII declared that the guilt of Jews in rejecting and crucifying Christ 'only grows deeper with successive generations, entailing perpetual slavery.' Later popes, such as Benedict XIV, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, et al., continued the persecution of Jews. Pope Pius XII knew very well that the Nazis were systematically exterminating Jews. Yet he never spoke a public word against the Holocaust, because to do so would have condemned his own Church, and historians are in agreement that this act of 'washing his hands of the problem' (cf. Pilate's act: Matthew 27:24) encouraged Hitler and allowed the nauseating genocide to gather pace unabated.
It is no wonder that the apostle John was shown that the 'mother of harlots' is drunk with 'the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus ...' (Revelation 17:5-6). One thinks immediately of the Inquisitions (Roman, Medieval and Spanish) which for centuries held Europe in their terrible grip. Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake. A Catholic historian writes:
'When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, a Polish officer in his army, Colonel Lemanouski, reported that the Dominicans blockaded themselves in their monastery in Madrid. When Lemanouski*s troops forced an entry, the inquisitors denied the existence of any torture chambers. The soldiers searched the monastery and discovered them under the floors. The chambers were full of prisoners, all naked, many insane. The French troops, used to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the sight. They emptied the torture-chambers, laid gunpowder to the monastery and blew the place up.'
The remnants of some of the chambers of horror remain in Europe and may be visited today, memorials to the vile dogmas of Roman Catholicism which remain in force, fired by the ludicrous and utterly discredited claims of papal infallibility which justifies such barbarism. They are also memorials to the astonishing accuracy of the apostle John*s vision in Revelation 17. Rome has not vet officially admitted that these practices were evil, nor apologized to the world or to any of the victims or their descendants. 'Christian' Rome has slaughtered many times the number of both Christians and Jews that pagan Rome did. Beside those victims of the Inquisitions, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots, Albigenses, Waldenses and other Christians, were massacred, tortured and burned at the stake simply because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church. Listen to the leading nineteenth-century Catholic professor of church history:
The view of the Church had been...[that] every departure from the teaching of the Church. must be punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire ... Both the initiation and carrying out of this ... must be ascribed to the Popes alone ... who compelled bishops and priests to condemn heretics to torture, confiscation of their goods, imprisonment, and death, and to enforce the execution of this sentence on the civil authorities, under pain of excommunication. (Emphasis added)
Even Catholic historians admit that among the popes were some of the most degenerate and unconscionable ogres in all history. Their 'doctrine of celibacy' is a sick un-Scriptural joke which has been broken repeatedly by millions of priests and nuns, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and many popes such as Sergius III, John X, John XII, Benedict V, Innocent VIII, Urban VIII, Innocent X, et al. Celibacy has made sinners of the clergy and harlots out of those with whom they secretly co-habit. The Catholic Church has paid about $1 billion in out-of-court settlements in the last few years for sexual sins of its clergy in the USA alone. Rome is indeed 'the mother of harlots' who has long been the butt of mockery: 'the holiest hermit has his whore' and 'Rome has more prostitutes than any other city because she has the most celibates' being examples. Pope Pius II called Rome 'the only city run by bastards,' referring to the sons and grandsons of popes and cardinals. More than one pope has been slain when an angry husband discovered him in bed with his wife! To call such a man 'His Holiness--Vicar of Christ' makes a mockery of holiness and of Christ. Yet the name of each of these mass murderers, fornicators, robbers, and war-mongers - some guilty of the massacre of thousands - is emblazoned in 'honour' on the Church*s official list of Peter*s alleged successors, the popes.
Jerusalem has its Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) to keep ever before the world's conscience the 6 million Jews killed by Hitler. By contrast, there is no memorial to the untold multitudes of both Jews and Christians murdered by 'Holy Mother Church' and now forgotten. De Rosa reminds us that Pope John Paul II:
'knows the church was responsible for persecuting Jews, for the Inquisition, for slaughtering heretics by the thousands, for re-introducing torture into Europe as part of the judicial process. But he has to be careful [not to apologize]. The doctrines responsible for those terrible things still underpin his position.' (Emphasis added)
Despite the assertions of the ignorant, the Vatican has never repented of these crimes against humanity and God, for this statement by John Paul II is utterly flawed:
'Today I, the Pope of the Church of Rome, in the name of all Catholics, ask forgiveness for the wrongs inflicted on non-Catholics.... May this day mark a new beginning in a common effort to follow Christ; His Gospel; His law of love; His supreme desire for the unity of those who believe in Him that they may all be one.'
The most damning fact about this half-hearted 'apology' is that the Pope doesn't confess any sin, but speaks in generalities in a way that no Catholic priest would accept as a confession, for sin must be named and described in the Roman confessional! The Bible also offers no example of a 'confession; that says, 'I repent of whatever I may have done wrong', for such a 'repentance' gives no evidence either of conviction of sin or of remorse.
Note the official apology of John Paul II from his Apostolic Letter, Tertio Millenio Adveniente:
The Church should become more fully conscious of the sinfulness of her children recalling ... when they departed from the spirit of Christ ... indulged in ways of thinking and acting which were truly forms of counter-witness and scandal ... One painful chapter of history to which the church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given ... to intolerance and even the use of violence in the service of the truth ... [M]itigating factors do not exonerate the church from the obligation to express profound regret for the weaknesses of so many of her sons and daughters who sullied her face ... (Emphasis added)
The apology is not for the sins of the popes and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, but 'in the name of all Catholics' for the sins of 'the sons and daughters' or of the 'children' of the Church. There is never an admission of the truth - that it was the Church itself through its popes and bishops which conceived and led the Crusades, and invented and directed the Inquisitions and other persecutions and slaughters.
The Pope dishonestly gives a false impression of where the guilt lies, unlike faithful Catholic, Comte Le Maistre (writing in 1815 to justify the Spanish Inquisition) who stated that it existed: 'by virtue of the bull of the sovereign pontiff* and that the Grand Inquisitor was 'always either an archbishop or bishop.' It was the clearly the allegedly infallible 'successors of Peter' and 'Vicars of Christ* who invented the Inquisition and enforced it. Nineteenth-century Catholic historian R. W. Thompson declared: 'Gregory IX, in 1233, handed over the office [of the Inquisition] in permanence to the Dominicans, but always to be exercised in the name, and by the authority of the Pope' (emphasis added). Present-day Catholic historian Peter de Rosa writes: 'Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on, not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition. On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine.. .for more than six centuries without a break, the papacy was the sworn enemy of elementary justice.' Likewise, J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, a leading nineteenth-century Catholic professor of church history, confessed: '[S]ince 1183, the view of the Church had been [that] every departure from the teaching of the Church ... must he punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire.'
It was not the 'sons and daughters' or the 'children' of the Church, but the Church itself through its leaders, especially the popes, who were the enemies of freedom of religion and conscience and who conceived and enforced for centuries the torture and slaughter by the millions of all who opposed them. Thus the Pope*s alleged 'apology' is actually a cover-up that places the blame upon rank-and-file Catholics instead of upon the Church hierarchy where it belongs. The Mormon 'prophet' Brigham Young made similar sham statements after the 'Mountain Meadows Massacre,' when his church organised the murder of 137 men, women, and children (a few children under the age of 8-years-old were spared!) in revenge for the death of their fornicating 'apostle', Parley Parker Pratt, who was shot by an avenging husband. Young made one of his 'bishops', John D. Lee, a scapegoat, and Lee confessed to the crime and the fact that such revenge attacks were always under the instruction of Mormon 'prophets.' It is no surprise that Mormonism has been compare to Catholicism. Such sham apologies insult the millions of victims. The Pope deceitfully suits his message to his audience, for in Central and South America he warns Catholics against the very evangelicals with whom he advocates unity through his ecumenical deception.
Another embarrassing fiasco in Papal history is Galileo*s trial. Pope Urban VIII threatened a sick and elderly Galileo with torture if he would not renounce his claim that the earth revolved around the sun. On his knees before Rome*s Holy Office of the Inquisition, in fear for his life, Galileo recanted of this "heresy"--but not in his heart. That the sun and all heavenly bodies revolved around the earth remained official Catholic dogma, repeatedly affirmed by "infallible" popes until 1992, when the Vatican at last admitted officially that Galileo had been right. Lest science continue to make fools of the "infallible" Church hierarchy, the Pope now cautions Catholic theologians to check with scientists before interpreting Scripture. Yet Peter, whom Catholics say was the first pope, declared that Scripture is inspired of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) and He needs no help from scientists! If the Bible is not infallible when it speaks to science, then why trust it regarding God or salvation? At least Edward Daschbach, a Catholic priest, takes the Papal 'bull' by the horns and admits that to take the Bible literally would require admitting that the woman on the beast in Revelation 17 is the Roman Catholic Church:
'The Church, then, does not accept ...the literal interpretation of the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis ... When creation-science advocates ply their fundamentalist tools to this final scriptural book [Revelation], the Church often becomes a target for vehement attack ...'
The popes thus join other 'Christians' of weak faith and embrace the cult of evolutionism--embracing error rather than admitting they are utterly uninspired in their interpretations. Of these indisputable facts many of today*s 'evangelical' leaders seem willingly ignorant. Why should Rome apologize for or even admit these errors and the atrocity of the holocaust? No one calls her to account today. Protestants have forgotten and evangelical leaders join Rome to evangelize together. They don*t want to hear any 'negative' reminders of the millions tortured and slain by the Church to which they now pay homage, or the fact that Rome has a false gospel of sacramental works--another 'gospel' that is not the gospel Paul preached (Galatians 1:6-9), but is anathema as defined by Paul! Rome needs to utterly repent and leave behind forever the vile errors of the past before she can be forgiven, but there is no sign that this will happen! Only the grace that God alone can give would have enabled most, if not all, of the millions of martyrs tortured and executed to have held in their hearts the words of Jesus: 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34) as they suffered and died at the hands of the popes! But that utterly graceful prayer, even from our Lord, is only answered when sin is admitted and the Lord Jesus Christ's finished work upon the cross is embraced totally.
The Nazi holocaust was thoroughly known to Pius XII, in spite of his complete silence throughout the war on the slaughter of Jews, but had he protested, as representatives of Jewish organizations and the Allied Powers begged him to do, he would have condemned his own Church. We now know that, in 1936, Bishop Berning of Osnabruch had talked with the Führer for over an hour and Hitler assured him that there was no fundamental difference between National Socialism and the Catholic Church. Had not the church, argued the Führer, looked on Jews as parasites? Hitler boasted that he was only doing what the Church had done for fifteen hundred years, only more effectively. Being a Catholic himself, he told Berning, he 'admired and wanted to promote Christianity.'
For centuries, Protestant creeds identified the popes as antichrists. That label continues to apply to the paganized Christianity over which the popes have presided as Constantine*s successors having succeeded him as head of Romes Pontifical College, and retaining the related pagan title 'Pontifex Maximus.' Undoubtedly, when the Antichrist appears as head of the 'New World Order' and a world religion which has absorbed all but the remnant of true, Biblical Christianity, he will be the new Constantine and the Roman pontiff will be his right-hand man.
Most evangelicals don't know the truth about Catholicism; and a number of leading evangelicals are insisting that all active Catholics are saved and not to be evangelized. Some are even joining Catholics to evangelize the world. The whole issue of the evangelical response and relationship to Catholics will be one of the most important questions facing the church until the Rapture. Deceived members of formerly Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical Christian churches, have been led by the nose to join the 'whore of Babylon' by their deceived leaders.
Catholics make up nearly one-fifth of the world' s population and comprise a much higher percentage in the Western world: about 25 percent in the United States and more than 90 percent in Latin America and in Spain, France, Italy, Poland, etc. Here is a huge mission field of those whose Church has deceived them with a false gospel that cannot take them to heaven. We join with all true Christians in striving to bring the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to Catholics - and those of all other faiths - loving them enough to withstand the inevitable insults to tell them the good news that they can receive forgiveness of all sin (past, present and future) and eternal life through faith in Christ's finished work on the cross. Catholicism is one of the most devious counterfeits of Christianity and we need to be in continual prayer to make the most of opportunities to win Catholics to Christ.
[Acknowledgements to The Berean Call, Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon, and The Islamic Invasion by Robert A. Morey]