Benedict’s Strategy?

Clerical Whispers, blog of an Irish priest, posts some thoughts about the strategy of Pope Benedict XVI.

The pope is a highly educated man. He has written multiple books and is respected for his scholarship. He is the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion people. Benedict does nothing—especially when it involves altering church policy or delivering public speeches—without deep contemplation and calculation.

Few people on Earth possess as much influence or come under as much scrutiny as the pope. For a man in his position, ignorance, careless slips of the tongue or shallow thinking could do enormous damage.

The Regensburg speech; bringing down the Italian government; altering the Good Friday Prayer; and, most recently, the decision to baptize a renowned Muslim convert three days after Osama bin Laden accused the Vatican of promoting violence against Muslims—in addition to the multiple times the papacy has weighed in on issues like Sunday worship, abortion and same-sex marriage—these were strategically calculated decisions in what is looking like a grand strategy for increasing Vatican power. …

Ultimately, he sees an opportunity—of historic proportions. An opportunity to establish the Catholic Church as the savior of Europe.

Consider. These events may have angered Muslims and Jews. But they thrilled many Catholic and even non-Catholic Europeans. Why? Because the message emanating from each event was that the Vatican remains the bastion of conservatism and traditionalism, is prepared to defend Europe’s Christian heritage and is willing, even ready, to confront the war-mongering ambitions of radical Islam.

That’s a message that Europeans increasingly want to hear!

Moreover, the pope’s message will only gain greater traction in the hearts of Europeans as conditions worsen and Islam increases its belligerence.

But wait a second … these aren’t his own thoughts. He notes that they are a “contribution.” Where did they come from? The Trumpet–a publication of the Philadelphia Church of God, which continues the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.

This is curious indeed.

4 thoughts on “Benedict’s Strategy?

  1. Thanks for sharing, Bill. Quite intriguing.

    There is one thing that has perplexed my Adventist mind about our Adventist understanding of eschatology, however. Isn’t the Catholic church supposed to unite with these other religions in the end (ie., Islam)?

    If there is such animosity between the two faiths right now – and that animosity from the Catholic church will supposedly attract secular Europe and Protestant America to join with them in their fight against the opposition – how will the Church then turn around and join hands with that opposition against God’s last-day Remnant people?

    This one I haven’t figured out. You probably know better than I, so I would like to hear your thoughts.

  2. I don’t find it curious at all, the final paragraphs of “The Trumpet” article puts the whole thing in context:

    “Don’t believe the facade.

    History shows that the most horrifying forces of destruction often come in sheep’s clothing. The Apostle Paul talks about this principle in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

    In the Bible, few prophecies are discussed in as much detail as the past and future role on the world scene of a great religious power. Anyone studying these prophecies with an open mind will experience a profound change in their understanding of history, and gain a thrilling glimpse into the future. To learn about the origins of the Catholic Church, read Chapter 4 of Mystery of the Ages; to learn about the recent history and future of the Vatican, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire”.
    In other words mass apostasy to the side of the anti-Christ is fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Conversion to the Catholic Church by disaffected Protestant Christians, and Muslims, is proof.

  3. The Vatican did not “bring down” the Prodi government, despite some of the claims in the English-language press – including the linked article. Ask any Italian – left or right – and you’ll get a more accurate account of the various failings and events which caused its collapse. Where there was criticism by prelates, it was by no means decisive.

    That a Catholic author is regurgitating this kind of conspiracist nonsense reminds me of the old joke:

    An elderly Jewish man is taking a walk in the park, and comes across an old friend (also Jewish) who is sitting on a bench, reading a neo-Nazi rag.

    Enraged, he shouts at his friend, “Why on earth are you reading that garbage?!”

    “Well,” says the other, “our newspapers always tell us about scandalous rabbis, Israeli deaths, and the declining morals and observance of the young. But according to this, we run the banks, run the government, and get to decide who goes to war and when. I like this news better.”

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