Perversion on the Road to Damascus
"The Pope is a clever diplomat," remarked Vatican observer Lorenzo Cremonosi.
Professor Arthur Noble
The wonderful story of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19, 22:5-16, 26:12-18) stands in stark contrast to the Damascus 'pilgrimage' of Pope John Paul II.
Paul, originally named after the ancient Hebrew King Saul, was formally trained to become a rabbi, and his zeal for the study of Jewish law led him to persecute the nascent Christian Church. In the Book of Acts he is portrayed as a supportive witness to the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr; but after experiencing a vision on his way to Damascus he became a Christian himself, kept the faith, and endured five floggings, one stoning, three shipwrecks, numerous imprisonments, hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, before being finally beheaded.
Now the Pope, as his travelling menagerie romps around the Middle East, claims to be following not only physically but also spiritually in the footsteps of Paul. Truly, one is left aghast!
In the first place, how can the leader of a Church whose creed and practices bear no resemblance to primitive Christianity be a spiritual successor to Paul? As Cobbin well put it, in primitive Christianity we find "no Popes; no cardinals; no monks, nor nuns; no holy wafer, nor holy water; no baptism of bells, nor canonization of saints; no mass, nor giant candles; no chrism, nor cross; no repeating of Paternosters nor Ave Marias; no saints' days, nor Popes' jubilees; no plenary indulgences, nor purgatories; no bulls, nor inquisitions; in fact, we find nothing like Popery, except what is under the ban of heaven, and doomed to everlasting destruction".1
In the second place, Paul perceived the revelation of Jesus Christ to mark the end of all false religions. In contrast, the Pope's declared aim is to establish a false global religion by blending the gross errors of Romanism with the beliefs of the other faiths which are the object of his ecumenical ravage. This attempt at a witches' brew of disparate beliefs is strikingly symbolised in his plea to search for a "common prayer". His goal is nothing short of a bastardisation of religions into a system of which he envisages his office to be the head.
In the third place, Jesus said that His kingdom was "not of this world" (John 18:36), that we should "render […] unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:21). The Pope's project, on the other hand, is politically motivated. The Vatican subtly claims the Papal trips as purely spiritual, but the Pope has overtly aligned himself with Palestinians and in one way or another alienated many Jews, Greeks, Eastern Orthodox leaders and Muslims. Did not his predecessor envisage the threat of political force to secure pax romana in Europe? Where, then, in this worldly project, is the Holy Spirit by which Paul of Tarsus was led? To give the famous answer of British author and critic Anthony Burgess on a visit to the Vatican: "All human life is here, but the Holy Ghost seems to be somewhere else."2
War and chaos, not peace and reconciliation, have followed in wake of the Pope's visits – "Peace, peace; when there is no peace" (Jer. 6:14); for Rome seeks her religious power in the political sphere, and the degree of the political power she succeeds in achieving provides the degree of secular influence that she is able to use as a weapon against her spiritual adversaries. Her system nearly conquered Christendom once, and her unchanging nature is pressing her to try it again. This Papal galavanting with its fake apologies is a deceptive smokescreen to promote the re-ascendancy of Romanism. It is not a genuine repentance for the Crusades, Holocaust and Inquisition which brought about the torment and destruction of millions of Muslims, Jews and Bible-believing Christians throughout the centuries of Rome's domination of Europe and the Mediterranean.
"The Pope is a clever diplomat," remarked Vatican observer Lorenzo Cremonosi. "He knows how powerful his image is and he is playing it very well without committing the Vatican to dramatic new positions." Semper eadem. Perversion to Popery on the road to Damascus!
1 Rev. Ingham Cobbin: Popery, 1896.
2 The Observer, May 25, 1986.