“When Pope Benedict announced that he was going to resign on Feb. 28, 2013, it sent shock waves around the world. Being the first Pope to leave the papal throne—alive—in 600 years, two billion followers of the Roman Catholic Church are in a state of disbelief.
“Although Pope Benedict became the lightning rod of criticism against members of the clergy for ‘crimes against children,’ he had steadily weathered the maelstrom of controversy the engulfed Christendom’s seat of power, the Vatican.

“Indeed, as soon as Pope Benedict announced his resignation, the enemies of the Catholic Church laid siege on the Vatican. Yes, it was time to strike while the iron was hot. And strike they did, hitting the Pope when he was vulnerable!
“An obscure organization called International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) issued a media release on its website, saying that Pope Benedict resigned because he had found out that an unnamed European government was going to issue an ‘arrest warrant’ against him one he had vacated the papacy. He would then be charged of crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy.

The person behind the ITCCS attack on the Pope is a certain Rev. Kevin D. Annett, a priest of the United Church of Canada, who is identified as ITCC’s secretary.

“Power Struggle?

“But the siege on the Vatican might be overshadowed by a developing story that attributes the Pope’s resignation to a power struggle within the Vatican. A source said that Pope Benedict’s decision was ‘brought on by his declining health in the context of a major power struggle within the Holy See.’
“The source also said that Pope Benedict recent made two recent appointments including the installation of the new head of the Vatican Bank.

The source also said that four cardinals, including two from Latin America, are the leading contenders to succeed the Pope. The rumored front-runner is ‘a cardinal who was close to John Paul II, trusted by Benedict, skilled in Vatican maneuvering, and who has been in the front lines dealing with the rise of radical Islam.’ [italics on original]

“Protecting the Pope

“Last February 15, Reuters News reported that Pope Benedict decided to live in the Vatican after he steps down. This would provide him with security and privacy. Vatican would also provide him with legal protection—and immunity—from any attempt to prosecute him with any complicity with sexual abuse cases committed by Catholic priests around the world. [itals supplied] ‘His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,’ a Vatican official said.

“One consideration in deciding that Pope Benedict should live in a convent inside the Vatican after his resignation is his personal safety and privacy, which the Vatican police would be able to guarantee as long as he is within the walls of the Vatican. And the second consideration is his potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals.

“While Pope Benedict is not currently named as a defendant in any case, the Vatican would not rule out the possibility of future lawsuits against him. And if he lives outside the Vatican, it might attract the ‘crazies’ to file lawsuits or he might be arrested and brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged acts while he was head of state.

“As a resident and citizen of the sovereign state of Vatican City, Pope Benedict would have the full protection of the state under the provision of the Lateran Pacts, which guaranty him immunity while he is in the Vatican or even if he travels in Italy as a Vatican citizen. In 1929, Italy and the Holy See signed the Lateran Pacts that established the Vatican City as a sovereign state.

“But Pope Benedict’s resignation is not going to solve the Catholic Church’s problems with all the sexual abuse scandals. And as long as these scandals exist, the like of Kevin D. Annett and other enemies of the Vatican could cause the next Pope innumerable problems.

“St. Malachy’s Prophecy

“In 1139, then Archbishop Malachy O’ More of Ireland went to Rome to give an account of his diocese to Pope Innocent III. While in Rome, he received the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of illustrious pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The last on that list was the 268th pope. [emphasis mine].

“Pope Benedict’s successor will be the 268th pope. And if St. Malachy’s prophecy were true, then the next Pope would be the last. But that is an easy way to interpret the prophecy. Could there be another interpretation? Yes, there is!

“Ecumenical Councils”

“The First Ecumenical Council, known as the Council of Nicea, took place in 325 A.D. by the order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine. Nicea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine presided over as group of Church bishops and leaders with the purpose of defining the true God for all of Christianity and eliminating all the confusion, controversy, and contention within Christ’s church. The Council of Nicea affirmed the deity of Christ and established an official definition of the Trinity—the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit under one Godhead, in three co-equal and co-eternal Persons. (www.gotquestions.org/council-of-Nicea).

“Between 325 A.D. and 1563 (Council of Trent), there were a total of 19 ecumenical councils. It took another 307 years before another ecumenical council took place, the First Council of the Vatican in 1870, which defined the Pope’s primacy in church governance and his infallibility. [emphasis mine].
“The Second Council of the Vatican took place in 1962-1965, which addressed pastoral and disciplinary issues dealing with the Church and its relation to the modern world, including liturgy and ecumenism.

“Quo Vadis Vatican?

“Perhaps its time for the Third Council of the Vatican to take place. There is a clamor for change from a small liberal faction of the Church. The conservatives have the numerical strength but the liberals are more aggressive and vocal. The next Pope would be face with certain issues that could turn Vatican III into a battle for supremacy that would crack the ‘Rock’ of Christendom. A slew of issues—such as celibacy, ordination of female priests, same-sex marriage, stem- cell research, and family planning—could create and atmosphere for schism to grow. There is only one way to prevent this from happening—reform.
“The next Pope could indeed be the ‘Last Pope’ as we know him. But he could also be the ‘First Pope’ after the Catholic Church’s reformation to bring to the realities of the 21st century and conform to the norms of society today.”
(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

YAHOO!NEWS
Did Secret Vatican Report on Gay Sex and Blackmail Bring Down the Pope?

By Alexander Abad-Santos/The Atlantic Wire- Fri. Feb. 22, 2013

“Pope Benedict XVI claimed that he’s resigning the papacy next week because of old age. But according to the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the real reason why he resigned is because he did not want to deal with the repercussions of a secret 300-page Vatican dossier that allegedly found, among other things, an underground network of high-ranking gay clergy, complete with sex parties and shady dealings with the already scandal-ridden Vatican bank. Here’s what we know:

“RELATED: Who’s Leaking the Vatican’s Secrets?
“The reports sound menacing. According to La Repubblica, the dossier comes in two volumes, ‘two folders hard-bound in red’ with the header ‘pontifical secret.’

“RELATED: The Pope Thinks You’re Tweeting Too Much
“Pope Benedict asked for the investigation. “The paper said the Pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ affair,’ according to The Guardian’s translation of the report.

“RELATED: Pope’s Butler to Serve Time in the Comfort of his Home.
“The Vatican has a Velvet Mafia – and the Velvet Mafia is being blackmailed. The dossier alleges that a gay lobby exists within the Church, and has some sort of control on the careers of those in the Vatican. The dossier also alleges that this group isn’t as covert as it thinks—and got blackmailed by people on the outside.

‘The cardinals were said to have uncovered and underground gay network, whose members organize sexual meetings in several venues in Rome and Vatican City, leaving them prone to blackmail,’ reads the Sydney Morning Herald’s translation of the report, and The Guardian adds: ‘They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, and beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.’ Some important context on this still powerful group:

“RELATED: Five Best Monday Columns
“This isn’t the first time there’s been talk of a gay faction inside the highest ranks of the Church. Indeed, it isn’t even the first time that La Repubblica has written about it. Back in 2010, Ghinedu Ehiem, a Nigerian clergyman who was part of one of the Vatican’s prestigious choirs, was dismissed after police wiretaps found him negotiating for male prostitutes. La Repubblica had those wiretaps.

“And ‘in 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a ‘sting’ organized by and Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man,’ according to The Guardian—evidence the paper says connects to a gay network within the Holy See.

La Repubblica’s sourcing seems to have been corroborated. So how much of this new scandal should you believe? Well, La Reubblica is not the only publication with an outline of this scandalous dossier. Panorama, and Italian weekly, has a similar report out late this week and according to the AFP, both publications have sources (perhaps the same source) who said the same thing: that the investigation shows transgressions that ‘revolve around the sixth and seventh commandments’—‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ It’s assumed in multiple reports that homosexual acts fall under the ‘adultery’ umbrella.

“RELATED: Pope Benedict’s Last Intriguing Piece of Business
“The Vatican’s bank sounds fishy. La Repubblica says that the seventh commandment (‘Thou shalt not steal’) has to do with the Institute of Religious Works, the Vatican’s Bank. ‘The three cardinals continued to work beyond 17 December last year. They came up with the latest events concerning the IOR – here you go to the seventh commandment,’ reads the report, according to a rough Google Translation. On February 15, Pope Benedict appointed Ernst von Freyberg, a German lawyer, to head the scandalous bank.

“The Vatican’s response isn’t exactly comforting. The Church isn’t flat-out denying the inflammatory allegations from La Repubblica, and they’ve pulled the same classic act of neither confirming nor denying. Vatican spokesman Father Ferederico Lombardi said in a statement:
‘Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the
that things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own
responsibilities. We shall not be following up on observations that are made about
this.’

“Pope Benedict’s successor will have a rough first day. If this damning dossier was really a big enough deal to have forced the first papal resignation in 600 years, who gets to deal with it? That undertaking will go to Benedict’s successor. According to La Repubblica, the dossier will stay in a secret papal safe and delivered to Benedict’s successor whenever he is elected – and that isn’t all. La Repubblica said this gay blackmail thing is just as the first in a series of articles by the paper.” (http://news.yahoo.com/did-secret-vatican-report-gay-sex-blackmail-bring-160458902.html 2/23/2013.

Lest we forget: “The compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of ‘the man of sin’ [2 Thess. 2; 3, 4] foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—and monument of his efforts to sit himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.” E.G. White, Great Controversy, p. 50 (1911 ed).
(To be continued next month)