The Kettle calling the Pot black
Unfortunately, Vatican II ecumenical apostasy appears to most evangelicals as proof of a claim by some Protestants that the Catholic Church has always been the whore of Babylon. But it isn’t true. Catholicism itself always acknowledged that the fall of Rome - in the ecclesial sense, could happen one day with the direst of consequences for the Church. Such warnings date back to St. Irenaeus, 2nd century, and even St. Ignatius of Antioch, 1st century. Vatican II, if it is not totally repudiated, is leading to this, most certainly.
It spite of the meticulous compilation of details which are historically accurate and do indeed lead to seeing this fulfilled, many times it is the Kettle calling the Pot black, to use an old phrase. Nostrae Aetate is the core of the Vatican II apostasy. It is Judaising Gnosticism, but that same Judaising Gnosticism is responsible for much of evangelical eschatology and occultic activity in Protestant circles. While this article on the Vatican here, in its very detailed account of the occultic accumulations in Rome, is helpful in illustrating this in the case of Rome, they too have this root of Judaising Gnosticism (see below for reference). Eventually, if things are left unchecked, it will probably draw them into Apostate Rome’s sphere of influence. They are wrong in their occult Judaising errors already.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said:
Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.
For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.
The Great Disappointment was a major event in the history of the Millerite movement, a 19th-century American Christian sect that formed out of the Second Great Awakening. Based on his interpretations of the prophecies in the book of Daniel (Chapters 8 and 9, especially Dan. 8:14 "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"), William Miller, a Baptist preacher, proposed that Jesus Christ would return to the earth during the year 1844. The more specific date of October 22, 1844, was preached by Samuel S. Snow. Thousands of followers, some of whom had given away all of their possessions, waited expectantly. When Jesus did not appear, October 22, 1844 became known as the Great Disappointment.
Further discussion and study resulted in the brief adoption of a new date—April 18, 1844, one based on the Karaite Jewish calendar (as opposed to the Rabbinic calendar). Like the previous date, April 18 passed without Christ's return. In the Advent Herald of April 24, Joshua Himes wrote that all the "expected and published time" had passed and admitted that they had been "mistaken in the precise time of the termination of the prophetic period", while Josiah Litch surmised that they were probably "only in error relative to the event which marked its close." Miller also responded publicly, addressing a letter "To Second Advent Believers," and writing "I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment; yet I still believe that the day of the Lord is near, even at the door."
In August 1844 at a camp-meeting in Exeter, New Hampshire, Samuel S. Snow presented his own interpretation, what became known as the "seventh-month message" or the "true midnight cry". In a complex discussion based on scriptural typology, Snow presented his conclusion (still based on the 2300 day prophecy in Daniel 8:14), that Christ would return on, "the tenth day of the seventh month of the present year, 1844". Again using the calendar of the Karaite Jews, this date was determined to be October 22, 1844. This "seventh-month message" "spread with a rapidity unparalleled in the Millerites experience" amongst the general population.
The below article is presented for comment and education in accord with the nonprofit provisions of: Title 17 U.S.C., Section 107. - it is from: http://truthinprophecy.com/vatican.php
"It has often been charged...that Catholicism is overlaid with many pagan incrustations. Catholicism is ready to accept that accusation - and even to make it her boast...The great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized." -Theodore Maynard, The Story of American Catholicism
Babylon is described in Revelation 17 as the mother of harlots (apostate religious systems or churches), Mystery and the abominations of the earth. Obviously if God’s people are the chaste woman faithful to her husband, then Babylon is the opposite of this symbol or that system of worship which is unfaithful to God, and has a mystery religion and teaches and practices abominations. The harlot daughters of Rome must represent those churches that follow her false teachings and thus subject themselves to her rule, or even worse, officially accept the Roman leadership as authoritative.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) repeatedly refers to the Catholic Church as "Holy Mother Church." In September 2000 the Vatican issued a statement titled "Dominus Iesus," where Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stated:
"It must be always clear that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic universal church is not the sister, but the mother of all the churches."
The Washington Post reported on this church decree:
"A new Vatican dictum issued today declares that individuals can attain full salvation from earthly sin only through the spiritual grace of the Catholic Church and that other faiths—including Protestant Christian ones—have defects that place their followers in a “gravely deficient situation” in seeking salvation. The goal, according to a top Vatican official, is to combat the “so-called theology of religious pluralism,” which suggests that Catholics are on a par in God’s eyes with, say, Jews, Muslims or Hindus."
The word Vatican literally means Divining Serpent and is derived from Vatis=Diviner and Can=Serpent. Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica were built on the ancient pagan site called in Latin vaticanus mons or vaticanus collis, which means hill or mountain of prophecy. Coins minted in Vatican City often bear the inscription “CITTÁ DEL VATICANO”, which means City of Prophecy. The Church of Rome thus applies the title of “City” to its structure and as we shall see, lays claim to all the other attributes of Mystery Babylon as well. In the coin shown here, minted in 1963, Pope Paul VI is shown together with his title Pontifex Maximus and the inscription on the reverse side reads “CITTÁ DEL VATICANO.” The full title of the Vatican State is “STATO DELLA CITTÁ DEL VATICANO” which is the combination of Church and State. There is also a woman on the reverse side of the coin, and at her feet is her title, FIDES, which means faith. This woman is symbolic of the Roman Catholic faith, or Roman Catholic Church, which claims power over all governments on earth.
"The right hand has in all ages been deemed an emblem of fidelity and our ancient brethren worshipped Deity under the name of FIDES or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by TWO RIGHT HANDS JOINED, and sometimes by two human figures, holding each other by the right hands.....Numa was the first who erected an altar to FIDES, under which the GODDESS OF OATHS and honesty was worshipped. Obligations taken in her name were considered as more inviolable than others." -Albert G. Mackey, The Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. -Revelation 17
[See each of these below.]
- A Brief History
- False Doctrines
- Priory of Sion
- Society of Jesus
- Opus Dei
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. -Revelation 12
Just as it was prophesied in Revelation 12, the pagan Roman Empire vigorously persecuted the Christians until the rule of Constantine I. Prior to the time of emperor Constantine's so-called conversion, the Christians were persecuted because they would not honor the pagan gods. The Catholic Church was formed as a means to Christianize the pagan religion. The pagan gods were gradually replaced by saints of the church, the necessary religious sacraments were re-introduced as Christian ritual, the pagan holy days were reclassified as Christian holidays; the Saturnalia celebrations turned into Christmas celebrations; the ancient festival of the dead (Halloween) became All Souls Day; Lupercalia, the feast of the purification of Isis (the mother-child religion), became the Feast of the Nativity and so on.
"We are told by Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommed the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own." -John Henry Newman, Development of Christian Doctrine
"Christianity became the established religion in the Roman Empire and took the place of paganism...Christianity as it existed in the Dark Ages might be termed baptized paganism." -Church History
When Pope Gregory the XIII introduced the solar Gregorian calendar in 1582, each day of the week was given a new name in honor of a deity. The first day of the week was named Sunday, The Lord's Day, and the venerable day of the sun.
The observance of months was changed and the new months (moons) were renamed after the gods. The name for the month of February comes from the Latin februum which means purification. This month is reserved for purification ceremonies in honor of the goddess Isis.
"The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it. So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today. -Deuteronomy 4
And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. -Luke 11
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. -Matthew 6
Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, Cnes/Spot Image, GeoEye -
Vatican City is the smallest sovereign state in the world (less than 110 acres) located within the city of Rome, Italy; governed by the Pope who acts (for a life term) as the supreme executive, legislative and judicial authority. The hub of the Catholic Church has its own army, bank, post office, market, electrical plant and much more within its city walls. The city has its own citizenship and has established embassies in countries all around the world, which means Vatican officials are granted diplomatic status in foreign countries.
It is no secret the Vatican possesses one of the world's largest hoards of treasures; Catholic Churches all over the world are richly decorated with precious metals and jewels. Standing in the center of Saint Peter's Square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk which was carefully transported from Heliopolis to Rome in 37 AD. The Vatican was built so the Pope faces east (toward the sun & the obelisk) whenever he addresses the crowd in St. Peter's Square.
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. -Matthew 8
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." -John 18
If understanding the origins of the catholic church is not convincing enough to demonstrate its apostate nature, one only needs to compare catholic doctrine to the teachings of Jesus Christ. While Catholics believe Jesus Christ is God, they don't believe His death and resurrection paid the full penalty for sin; hence the need for purgatory, which was first introduced by Semiramis in ancient Babylon.
The foundation of Catholic doctrine does not come from the word of God alone (Sola Scriptura) but also from honored church tradition (pagan idolatry). Catholic dogma relies heavily on the distorted interpretation of Christ's conversation with Peter in Matthew 16:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. -Matthew 16
The Catholic Church twisted the meaning of this scripture to declare the church (specifically the Pope) the vicar (agent) of Christ. The church uses the "whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven..." to justify changing God's law and incorporating traditional doctrines, all in the name of Christ, as the church's head - the Pope - is declared the infallible representative of Christ on earth. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):
The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." -CCC 882
It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God. -CCC 119
Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. -CCC 892
Jesus called these vicars of Christ false Christs! According to the scriptures, the true church of Jesus Christ has absolutely nothing to do with any building or any religious institution.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? -1 Corinthians 3
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. -1 Corinthians 12
God's Word never appoints authority regarding interpreting scripture, because...
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. -2 Timothy 3
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. -2 Peter 1
And Jesus couldn't have been more clear when it came to honoring tradition:
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. -Matthew 15
Some may argue all that really matters is the message of salvation...
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone. -Romans 9
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
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. -Acts 8
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 6
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. -John 17
The scriptures repeatedly tell us our redemption from sin is a gift from God that cannot be earned. This gift of God is perfectly explained in John chapter 3:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. -John 3
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. -John 19
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches God's grace and salvation is granted through the Catholic Church and its seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, eucharist (communion), penance and reconciliation (confession), matrimony (marriage), holy orders (ordination) and the anointing of the sick (extreme unction). The Roman Church's teachings concerning these sacraments derive from either a distorted interpretation of scripture, pagan tradition or a combination of the two. Clearly the Roman Church is demonstrating through these ritual sacraments that Jesus' work is not finished, but that the true path to salvation requires allegiance to the Church.
...all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. -CCC 846
Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. -CCC 2010
The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. "Sacramental grace" is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior. -CCC 1129
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace." -CCC 1446
Compare the above statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the following excerpt from Paul's letter to the Romans:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8
Are you noticing the glaring contradictions yet? Catholic doctrine attempts to abolish the sacrifice that our Lord made on the cross.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. -Hebrews 10
The story of the Priory of Sion is a saga which seems to leapfrog around a timeframe of nearly a thousand years and is a confusing network of intertwining mysteries of French nobles, Belgian monks, Frankish kings, the Turin Shroud, secret codes, the Vatican and an allegedly unbroken line of original thinkers, occultists and alchemists. The Priory of Sion may in truth be the guardians of political, religious and esoteric secrets so powerful that they could destroy nations and the central tenet of the Christian church.
The secret society was formed in 1090 by Godfrey de Bouillon, a French nobleman who was one of the leaders of the First Crusade and was offered the position of king of Jerusalem - a title which he refused, accepting instead the Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. He had traveled to Jerusalem with a conclave of Belgian monks who believed that he was descended from the Merovingians.
The Merovingians had ruled over a substantial part of what has now become France between the 5th and 7th centuries, but they were overthrown by the rival Carolingian dynasty. History records that the dynasty died out at this point. But the Dossiers Secrets (a collection of Priory of Sion documents, deposited anonymously in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris during the 1960s) asserts that it has survived owing to its secret activities.
The Priory of Sion also claims to have influenced many world events. In an attempt to restore descendants of the Merovingian bloodline into political power through a network of secret, esoteric and occult practices. Many of its Grand Masters were alchemists or occultists and have been behind various esoteric groups such as the Rosicrucians and some orders of Freemasons.
The society's first base was the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Sion in Jerusalem, the building of which was ordered by Godfrey de Bouillon. The Knights attached to it called themselves the Knights of the Order of Our Lady of Sion, and at this early stage they appeared to have been associated with the Knights Templar, but they parted company with each other in 1188.
The first Grand Master (or Nautonnier) was a Norman nobleman named Jean de Gisors. Subsequent Grand Masters have adopted the name Jean (or Jeanne for a woman). These have included:
The current Grand Master is rumored to be a Spanish lawyer and the name Pablo Norberto has been circulated, but this individual remains unidentified. Others believe the incumbent lives in Belgium.
If the story ended there, it would be merely a curiosity, an esoteric diversion, possibly even an elaborate and well-researched hoax, but there are other threads woven into the complex fabric of this extraordinary tapestry.
In the 1990s British researcher Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (www.picknettprince.com)were working on the Turin Shroud when they were approached by an individual who claimed to be a member of the Priory of Sion. He offered them inside information that the Turin Shroud had been faked in 1492 by the 12th Grand Master, Leonardo da Vinci, using his own face and "alchemical imprinting" - a crude photographic technique. Picknett and Prince followed up the claim with their own research and in 1994 published Turin Shroud: In Whose Image? The Truth Behind the Centuries - Long Conspiracy of Silence, and three years later, The Templar Revelations: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ.
Another strand appeared with the discovery by a 33-year old priest in a small Catholic Church in 1885. The priest was François Bérenger Saunière, and his discovery was made in the hilltop church of Saint Mary Magdelene in the tiny parish of Rennes-le-Château. The church, in the Languedoc region of France, had originally been the private chapel of the lords of Rennes-le-Château.
In 1891, while restoring the church, Saunière discovered a secret parchment inside one of the ancient altar supports, which some accounts report as dating back to the Visigothic period of the 7th or 8th century. Other accounts claim that he found four separate documents - two genealogies dating from 1244 and 1644 and two letters. He also discovered two encrypted messages in the graveyard outside on the tombstone of Marie de Nègre d'Ables, Lady of Blanchfort, and last Lord of Rennes-le-Château, who had died in 1781.
He took his findings to his superior, the Bishop at Carcassonne, who sent him to Paris to the Saint Sulpice Seminary (a place that is thought to have been the headquarters of a secret society called Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, an early incarnation of the Priory of Sion).
While Saunière was in Paris, he began moving in elite circles, and may even have had an affair with A Parisian opera singer named Emma Calve, who was a high-ranking occultist (she visited him frequently at Rennes-le-Château). Whatever the nature of this relationship, one thing is certain: after his return from Paris, Saunière experience a dramatic change in his fortunes. He received vast sums of money to refurbish the church and to build many other structures in the area, including an extensive library, a zoological garden, and a round tower called Tour Magdala (Tower of Magdalene - the woman from whom the Merovingians claim descent as the mother of Jesus' children).He also commissioned a statue of Asmodeus ("destroyer"), the name of the apocalyptic and sexually deviant demon mentioned in the Book of Tobias, and a powerful occult figure and the mythological builder of Solomon's temple. Asmodeus is also the symbol for anarchy. An uppercase "A" inside a circle is a depiction of Asmodeus.
Inside the church, Saunière built a painted panel which is an ambiguous depiction of the body of Jesus being carried to the tomb, although the scene takes place under a full moon, and can be interpreted as the moment when his body was secretly removed from the tomb at night. He erected a plaque over the church entrance which read, "Terribilis Est Locus Iste" ("This place is terrible"), which is strikingly similar to Jacob's exclamation in Genesis 28:17 when he saw the gate of heaven. His windfall and subsequent ostentatious wealth, coincides precisely with his important findings. He was defrocked in 1912 and died five years later in mysterious circumstances. He suffered a stroke five days after his housekeeper Marie Dernaud had ordered a coffin for him, and when a priest heard his confession, he refused to give Saunière the last rites. The secret of his wealth was apparently entrusted to his housekeeper who said she would reveal it on her deathbed. Unfortunately she too suffered a stroke which left her paralyzed and unable to speak so the secret died with her.
The two encrypted messages on the tombstone of Marie de Ne and Lord of Renee Chateau read:
THIS TREASURE BELONGS TO DAGOBERT II KING AND TO SION AND HE IS THERE DEAD.
SHEPHERDESS NO TEMPTATION THAT POUSSIN TENIERS HOLD THE KEY PEACE 681 BY THE CROSS AND THIS HORSE OF GOD I DESTROY THIS
DAEMON GUARDIAN AT MIDDAY. BLUE APPLES.
The second message was decoded using a puzzle called the Knight Tour of the chessboard, in which the Knight travels to every square on the board once combined with a cipher "MORT EPEE" taken from the Marie de Nèrgre tombstone. It is claimed that it refers to three paintings: Poussin's Shepherds of Arcadia, Teniers' Temptation of St. Anthony, and portrait of Pope Celestine V (who was the only Pope to resign). Saunière is supposed to have viewed all three paintings at the Louvre during his visit to Paris.
So what wee Saunière's other links to the Priory of Sion? The answer lies in the symbolism that he incorporated into his decorated church, which is unusual by conventional Catholic standards and is open to Masonic interpretations. For example, French author Gérard de Esèd argues that the 9th station of the cross relates to a Masonic order known as the Beneficent Knight of the Holy City. Saunière appears to be linked to Rectified Scottish Rite and also attended meetings of the Martinist Order in Lyons. Add the fact that the noble families of Saunière's good fortune was also Masonic. According to Picknett and Prince, the Priory of Sion is really a cover used by members of the Rectified Scottish Rite and the Martinist Order.
In The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth About the Resurrection, Holger Kersten and Elmar R. Gruber claim that the Catholic Church engineered the Turin Shroud's exposure as a fake, because the truth would destroy the church. They reached the shocking conclusion that Jesus was alive when he was covered by the shroud and placed in his tomb. The authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln reached a similar conclusion in their best-sellers The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy, that Jesus did not die on the cross, but lived to marry and father children with Mary Magdalene, whose descendants are the Merovingians.
Is this the Masonic secret that made Saunière rich? That Jesus was not resurrected because he didn't die on the cross; that the holy grail isn't a cup, but is symbolic of the Merovingian bloodline that lives on - a secret so dangerous that whoever discovers it must enter a Faustian pact and accept earthly treasures in exchange for silence?
Society of Jesus
"...those are the worst of the Catholics, the Inquisitors, the Jesuits!...They are simply the Romish army for the earthly sovereignty of the world in the future, with the Pontiff of Rome for Emperor...that's their ideal, but there's no sort of mystery or lofty melancholy about it...its simple lust of power, of filthy earthly gain, of dominaiton - something like a universal serfdom with them as master - that's all they stand for. They don't even believe in God perhaps." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, 1880
The Jesuit order, otherwise known as the Society of Jesus (Societas Iesu in Latin, S.J.), has been the military enforcement arm of the Catholic Church since it was first founded by Ignatius Loyola of Spain in 1534 during the reign of Pope Paul III, ostensibly to combat Protestant heresy. While many feel the Jesuits are only a sub-order of the Roman Catholic Church and are merely seekers and disseminators of knowledge, they have a much darker history that many people do not know about.
And while much can be said of the Jesuit Order, and much has been written, the oath speaks not only for itself, but speaks much of the Roman Catholic Church that has used and still uses the Jesuits for it's purposes while knowing full well the contents of the oath they bind themselves under. The Roman Catholic Church, while professing to holiness and claiming that there is no salvation outside of the Church, still harbors the Jesuit Order and commands them explicitly.
Here is the symbol of the Jesuits with the letters "I H S." On the surface the society will tell you these are the Greek letters iota, eta, sigma which is supposed to be an abbreviation of the name of Jesus Christ. In reality, these letters stand for the Egyptian dieties Isis, Horus and Set. Another interesting note, we often see the letters INRI on crosses and crucifixes, and are told that it represents the Latin words Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeum or Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, the Latin words that Pilate had written on a placard and nailed above Jesus' head at the crucifixion. However, as you will see below, the Jesuits use a far different set of words with the same letters. This invites the question, "Which is the real meaning of the 'I.N.R.I.' that we see displayed today?"
Below is the Oath of Extreme Induction taken by each Jesuit Priest upon his induction into the command ranks of the Jesuit Order, found in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., Library of Congress Catalog Card #66-43354, made public in 1883. This oath is still used today.
When a Jesuit novice is about to be inducted into the higher levels of the Order, he kneels on a red cross before the Superior of the Order. Before him are two flags, the familiar yellow and white flag of the papacy, and the black flag with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones, the flag of the Jesuit Order. On the Jesuit flag is written the words, IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOS. (It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical kings, governments, or rulers.) The Superior of the Order hands the novice a small black crucifix which he presses to his heart, and the Superior then presents to the novice a dagger. The novice grasps the bare blade and presses the point to his heart. The Superior, still holding the hilt of the dagger then speaks to the novice.
My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and to descend so low as to become a Jew among the Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.
You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces and states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly in concert with your brother Jesuit, who may be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected; only that the Church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means.
You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as that of the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments and legislatures, and in the judiciaries councils of state, and to "be all things to all men," for the Pope's sake, whose servants we are unto death.
You have received all your instructions heretofore as a novice, a neophyte, and have served as a coadjutor, confessor and priest, but you have not been invested with all that is necessary to command in the Army of Loyola in the service of the Pope. You must serve the proper time as the instrument and executioner as directed by your superiors; for none can command here who has not consecrated his labors with the blood of the heretic; for "without the shedding of blood no man can be saved." Therefore, to fit yourself for your work, and make your own salvation sure, you will, in addition to your former oath of obedience to your Order and your allegiance to the Pope, repeat after me.
I, _____________________, Now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and the sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior general of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the Virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ's Viceregent and is the true and only Head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Saviour, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed.
Therefore, to the utmost of my power, I shall and will defend this doctrine and his Holiness' right and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority, and all adherents in the regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome.
I do now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestants or Liberals or obedience to any of their laws, magistrates or officers. I do further declare that the doctrines of the churches of England and Scotland, of the Calvinists, Huguenots and others of the name Protestants or Liberals to be damnable, and they themselves damned and to be damned who will not forsake the same.
I do further declare that I will help, assist and advise all or any of his Holiness' agents in any place wherever I shall be, in any other kingdom or territory I shall come to, and do my uttermost to extirpate the heretical Protestants or Liberals' doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, regal or otherwise.
I do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding I am dispensed with, to assume any religion heretical, for the propagating of the Mother Church's interest, to keep secret and private all her agents counsels' from time to time, as they may entrust me, and not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writing or circumstance whatever; but to execute all that shall be proposed, given in charge or discovered unto me, by you, my ghostly father, or any of this sacred convent.
I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver, (perinde ac cadaver,) but will unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and Jesus Christ. That I will go to any part of the world whithersoever I may be sent, without murmuring or repining, and will be submissive in all things commanded to me.
I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, nor sex or condition; and that I will hang, burn, waste, spoil, flay, strangle, and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race.
That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poinard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed to do so by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.
In confirmation of which, I hereby dedicate my life, soul, and all of my corporeal powers, and with this dagger which I now receive, I will subscribe my name written in my own blood, in testimony thereof; and should I prove false or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the Militia of the Pope cut off my hands and feet, and my throat from ear to ear, my belly opened and sulfur burned therein, with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth, and my soul to be tortured by demons in an eternal hell forever.
All of which I, __________, do swear by the blessed Trinity and blessed Sacrament, which I am about to receive, to perform and on my part to receive inviolably; and do call all of the heavenly and glorious host of heaven to witness these my real intentions to keep this my oath.
In testimony hereof I take this most holy and blessed sacrament of the Eucharist, and witness the same further, with my name written with the point of this dagger dipped in my own blood and sealed in the face of this holy convent.
You will now rise to your feet and I will instruct you in the Catechism necessary to make yourself known to any member of the Society of Jesus belonging to this rank.
In the first place, you, as a Brother Jesuit, will with another make the ordinary sign of the cross as any Roman Catholic would; then one crosses his wrists, the palms of his hands open, the other crosses his feet, one above the other; the first points with forefinger of the right hand to the center of the palm of the left, the other with the forefinger of the left hand points to the center of the palm of the right; the first then with his right hand makes a circle around his head, touching it; the other then with the forefinger of his left hand touches the left side of his body just below his heart; then the first with his right hand draws it across the throat of the other, and the latter then with his right hand makes the motion of cutting with a dagger down the stomach and abdomen of the first.
The first then says Iustum; the other answers Necar; the first then says Reges. The other answers Impios. The first will then present a small piece of paper folded in a peculiar manner, four times, which the other will cut longitudinally and on opening the name JESU will be found written upon the head and arms of a cross three times. You will then give and receive with him the following questions and answers.
Q: From where do you come?
A: From the bends of the Jordan, from Calvary, from the Holy Sepulchre, and lastly from Rome.
Q: Whom do you serve?
A: The Holy Father at Rome, the Pope, and the Roman Catholic Church Universal throughout the world.
Q: Who commands you?
A: The successor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Soldiers of Jesus Christ.
Q: Who received you?
A: A venerable man with white hair.
A: With a naked dagger, I kneeling on a cross beneath the banners of the Pope and of our sacred Order.
Q: Did you take an oath?
A: I did, to destroy heretics and their governments and rulers, and to spare neither age, sex or condition. To be as a corpse without any opinion or will of my own, but to implicitly obey my superiors in all things without hesitation or murmuring.
Q: Will you do that?
A: I will.
Q: How do you travel?
A: In the bark of Peter the fisherman.
Q: Whither do you travel?
A: To the four quarters of the globe.
Q: For what purpose?
A: To obey the orders of my General and Superiors and execute the will of the Pope and faithfully fulfill the conditions of my oath.
Go ye, then, into all the world and take possession of all lands in the name of the Pope. He who will not accept him as the Vicar of Jesus and his Viceregent on earth, let him be accursed and exterminated.
"The many-sided facets of the mystery language have led to the adoption of widely varied dogmas and rites in the exotericism of the Church rituals. It is they, again, which are at the origin of most of the dogmas of the Christian Church, e.g., the seven Sacraments, the Trinity, the Resurrection; the seven capital Sins and the seven Virtues. The seven keys to the mystery tongue, however, having always been in the keeping of the highest among the initiated Hierophants of antiquity, it is only the partial use of a few out of the seven which passed, through the treason of some early Church Fathers - ex-initiates of the Temples - into the hands of the new sect of the Nazarenes. Some of the early Popes were Initiates, but the last fragments of their knowledge have now fallen into the power of the Jesuits, who have turned them into a system of sorcery." - Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol I
"It is curious to note too that most of the bodies which work these, such as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Rite of Avignon, the Order of the Temple, Fessler's Rite, the Grand Council of the Emperors of the East and West - Sovereign Prince Masons, etc., etc., are nearly all the offspring of the sons of Ignatius Loyola. The Baron Hundt, Chevalier Ramsay, Tschoudy, Zinnendorf, and numerous others who founded the grades in these rites, worked under instructions from the General of the Jesuits. The nest where these high degrees were hatched and no Masonic rite is free from their baleful influence more or less, was the Jesuit College of Clermont at Paris." -Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol II
"Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as ony a king of the gypsies can assume, dressed as painters, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited eternal damnation on earth and in hell, it is this Society of Loyola's" -George Riemer, The New Jesuits
"At what then do the Jesuits aim? According to them, they only seek the greater glory of God; but if you examine the facts you will find that they aim at universal dominion alone. They have rendered themselves indispensable to the Pope, who, without them, could not exist, because Catholicism is identified with them. They have rendered themselves indispensable to governors and hold revolutions in their hands; and in this way, either under one name or another, it is they who rule the world." -Luigi Desanetis, Popery, Puseyism and Jesuitism
"I learned much from the order of the Jesuits...until now there has never been anything more grandoise, on the earth, than the heirarchial system of the catholic church. I transferred much of this organization into my own party." -Adolf Hitler
"The [Nazi] S.S. was constituted according to Jesuit principles. Himmler, head of the S.S. was closely associated with the Jesuits through his father and brother. Hitler said of him, 'I can see Himmler as our Ignatius of Loyola." -Secret History of the Jesuits
Today, Jesuits number 20,170, (with 14,147 priests), and comprise the largest religious order of men in the Catholic Church (the Franciscan family of OFM's, Capuchins, and Conventuals has approximately 31,899 members, of whom 20,786 are priests, however the "family" consists of multiple orders). Jesuit priests and brothers are engaged in ministries in 112 nations on six continents. The Order is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is led by a Superior General, currently Peter Hans Kolvenbach. The General Curia of the Society is headquartered in Rome; its historic complex of buildings includes the Church of the Gesu, the Jesuit Mother Church.
Deep within the Vatican is a secretive and elitist sect that only recently came to wider public attention. It is an organization that has the blessing of the pope, and it is accountable only to the Vatican (the pope gave it "personal prelature" status in 1982). You don't go looking for it. You don't have to. If you're a young and devout catholic with a strong vocation, it comes looking for you.
The Opus Dei (God's Work) was founded in 1928 by Spanish priest Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. It's aim was to "spread throughout society a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate through one's professional work carried out with freedom and person responsibility." But despite its seemingly lofty intentions, Opus Dei has caused world-wide controversy for its bizarre and dictatorial practices, its enormous wealth, and the personality cult that seems to focus so much of its spiritual energy towards its founder rather than God.
Each year more and more ex-members are going public with their personal experiences of coercion and manipulation, being cut off from family and friends, having their intellectual freedom denied, enduring mortifications, complete obedience to flawed superiors, and facing eternal damnation when they tried to break free.
To a devout catholic the message of the Opus Dei is very compelling; through devotion to the sect one can become a saint in one's everyday life. A prospective new recruit is targeted by an Opus Dei numerary and befriended. In fact, recruitment is the top priority. At any time each numerary has a list of 10-15 candidates that he or she is seeking to befriend and recruit. They keep secret dossiers on these so-called friends, and report back each week to superiors about his/her progress. The numeraries most powerful mind-control weapon is known in religious circles as the vocation trap. As potential new recruit is given persuasive evidence of their vocation and that they have been chosen by God. By the time this vocation has been acknowledged by the recruit, he or she will already have invested so much emotional commitment that to turn away feels like a mortal sin.
Once recruited, a numerary becomes essentially a plainclothes monk or nun, observing both celibacy and poverty. If they are working, they must give all their salary to the Opus Dei. For two hours each day, they must wear a spiked chain called a cilice around the upper thigh, which is very painful and leaves small prick holes in the flesh. They must also use a chord-like whip on their buttocks and back once a week and suffer other more minor mortifications such as sleeping on the floor or fasting. Taken in isolation, this may seem misguided but not necessarily dangerous. But in the wider context of the Opus Dei's objectives it is primarily a strong control mechanism designed to subvert sexuality (authoritarian regimes always target the sexual urge as a means of control). It is even more worrying that the founder was a misogynist who believed that women had passions that required more discipline to tame.
The Opus' obsession with restraint of intellectual freedom is deeply disturbing. As critic Franz Schaeffer so neatly puts it, "In the dictatorship-like structure of the Opus a mistake or an evil decision by just one person on top of the organization can have fatal consequences. Their response is something like: 'Oh well, we have built a dictatorship, but do not be worried; we have such a nice dictator on top who is such a kind person with a good heart...'"
So, what sort of man was founder Josemaría Escrivá? In April 1990, Opus Dei priests presented Pope John Paul II information in support of Escrivá's beautification and canonization that led the pope to describe his as "heroically virtuous" (although unprecedented secrecy has prevented outsiders from seeing the evidence upon which this dubious assessment was based). In July of the following year, a miraculous healing attributed to Escrivá's intersession was authenticated, in part, by Opus Dei doctors (before a person can be canonized, evidence of miracle must be associated with the candidate).
Several ranking cardinals, at least one of the pope's personal secretaries, and the key members of the pope's media relations team are Opus Dei members. So it is little wonder that Escrivá's canonization went so smoothly and any unsavory details about his private life have been buried. Now this highly lucrative personality cult has a full-fledged saint to worship - powerful incentive indeed for an organization whose main message is "You too can become a saint," (so long as you give us all your money, punish yourself daily, obey completely and stop thinking).
Reports from eyewitness who knew Escrivá, many of them women, show that he was far from saintly. Former high-ranking Opus Dei member Maria del Carmen Tapia has described him as vein, inconsistent, and on occasion, obscenely angry. In her book, Beyond the Threshold, Life in Opus Dei, she described his reaction to the discovery that a woman had helped her to secretly main letters. He angrily shouted the woman's punishment: "Draw up her skirts, tear down her panties and give it to her in the ass!" This alone should have been enough to scrap his chances of becoming a saint, but this and many other eyewitness account have been brushed aside and discredited by high-ranking Opus Dei leaders.
This urge to control information to acquire and maintain power runs throughout the strictly hierarchal structure of the Opus Dei. Absolute obedience to authority is paramount. A key text is Escrivá's book The Way, which is laced with the theme of blind obedience without stopping to consider the reasons, is trusting that one will not be directed to do anything that is not good and "for the glory of God." Chapter 2, "Guidance" repeatedly rams home the message of obedience to an authoritarian "Director" (he is not referring to God).
Incoming and outgoing private mail of members is read and censored. Members are forbidden from reading anything without first getting permission form their spiritual directors, even if they are required reading from university courses. The directors keep an extensive list of banned books. Furthermore, a former numerary, Joseph Gonzalez, claims, "I witnessed the numeraries, including the directors, intermittently burning book sin the garden at the back of the center. Usually protestant bibles and book on the theory of evolution." He also describes being subjected to "psychological coercion," the "misconstruction of vocation," and "stigmatization" when "the directors represented leaving Opus Dei as a mortal sin."
In an interview with GQ magazine in December 2003, Sharon Clasen, recruited as freshman at Boston College in 1981, describes how she was cut off from her family ("Opus Dei was her family now," she was told). She endured all the punishments described above, and when she tried to leave, she was threatened with damnation to hell. The only photos she was allowed to possess were of Josemaría Escrivá.
There are 85,000 Opus Dei members worldwide. In the United States there are just 3,000, but as the GQ article points out, "Some of the country's best-known conservatives have been pegged as Opus Dei sympathizers or friends: Antonin Scalis, Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, Republican senators Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback, former Information Awareness Office director john M. Poindexter and TV pundits Lawrence Kudlow and Robert Novak."
This "Holy Mafia" continues to destroy lives and control minds while amassing ever more power and wealth. It has recently built a $47 million lavish headquarters in the center of Manhattan. The founder's photographs appear everywhere. A visitor would be hard pressed to interpret the entire edifice as anything less than a worldly manifestation of the personality of "saint" Josemaría Escrivá.