Where is the City with 7 Hills that is spoken in the Book of Revelations?
"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits"
"Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits"
I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads . . . . And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication . . . . And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [or hills], on which the woman sitteth. (Revelation 17:3, 4, 18, 9)
Babylon - Sits on Many Waters
The Vatican claims Rome as a part of their (state proper) as the Catholic encyclopedia states. The Vatican Ruled Kings and Nations during the Dark Ages. Kings highly listened and obeyed the Catholic Church in those days. And when nations decided not to use castles anymore they handed the castles over to the Catholic Bishops and such. Presidents - Dictators and such still listens to the Pope in today's times. The Catholic Bishops used the castles to terrorize local towns and people with their complete evil and dictatorship rule.
As written in Rev 17:15, Meanings - are many people, nations and languages (tongues). The Seas that surrounds Italy/Rome/Vatican are as as follows:
1) Atlantic Ocean - Connected to Many Nations &;
3) Mediterranean Sea (South Italy) connected to Many Nations &;
4) Tyrrhenian Sea (Western Italy) & connected to Many Nations &;
5) Ionian Sea (South Eastern Italy) connected to Many Nations &;
6) Adriatic Sea (Eastern Italy) connected to Many Nations.
Babylon - Commits (Spiritual) Fornication w/many Nations (Rev 17:2 & 17:4)
As stated in scripture, Babylon commits fornication with kings & nations of this earth. And since physical fornication is not possible with a certain nation or religion, (Spiritual) fornication is possible. For example: the pope meeting with evil leaders such as Hitler, Arafat, Cuban President, and President of Venezuela. Catholic Popes, Bishops and such has met with many of evil leaders time and time again. And some Catholic Popes and Bishops has taken Bribes from Evil Leaders such as Spain, Mexico and Italy (Mussolini) in the past as well. (Catholic Church Negotiates with Hitler and The Nazi Parties) (Catholic Church Negotiates with a Fascist Dictator - Mussolini) Evil Leaders should ALWAYS be shunned!
Babylon - W/Golden Cup Full of Abominations (Chalice) (Rev 17:4)
The pope is holding a golden cup (Chalice) in his hand. And as scripture states the following Rev 17:4The womanwas arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand agolden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.*
The cup has wine in it that the Pope (Catholic Church) believes that it magically and literally turns into Jesus actual blood and they believe that the wafer magically and literally changes into Jesus flesh. God Condemns cannibalism that in scripture.
Gen 9:4But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood . Another error in the Catholic Doctrine. The Catholics actually believe that they are drinking Jesus Blood and actually eating his flesh. That belief is cannibalism!
(Known as Sacrifice of the Mass)
Sacrifice of the Mass sacrifices Jesus over and over, even though Jesus on the cross said, "It is Finished". One sacrifice for ever more. NOT over and over like the Catholics do. They disgrace the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Babylon - Wearing Scarlet & Purple (Rev 17:4)
Rev 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet ........ The Pope, Bishops and such wears items of scarlet and purple. And the rings that the pope wears are of very fine and expensive gold as well. The pope himself lives in a very fancy and expensive Palace arrayed with expensive paintings, and furniture and such at the Vatican.
And the Pope (Catholic Church) expects the Monks and Nuns to live in poverty, but the Pope, Bishops (High ups) do not live in poverty their selves by any means. The Catholic church spends loads of money on statues and such that is in the Church Buildings, than on the Church Buildings them selves. I have seen Catholic Church Buildings falling apart with cracks in the ceilings and walls and such. And yet the church is called the House of God and the House of Prayer.
As Jesus states; Matt 23:16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say,'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17Fools and blind! For which is greater, the goldor the temple that sanctifies* the gold? NKJV
It appears that the Catholic Churches think that the items in the churches are more important than the churches them selves. And the statues themselves can easily be considered Idolatry if they are not extremely careful
Location: 41° 54' N, 12° 30? E
Original Name: Mons Vaticanus (City of the Dead)
Year Founded: As Cemetary pre 600 BCE, as Temple to Cybele 204 BCE
Founders: Roman Senate
Location Function : Primary Temple (Phrygianum) to Magna Mater (Cybele)
Etymology : City of the Dead
Vatican Hill is approximately one and half miles north-west of Capitoline Hill (around 150 ft), traditionally the tallest of the seven hills and home to the Capitolium, the most important temple complex to the early gods of Rome built by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus around 520 BCE. Vatican Hill (Latin Mons Vaticanus) (originally around 130ft in height from the river flood plain) is the closest hill on the west side of the Tiber, opposite to the seven hills of Rome and outside the ancient 1st Century BCE Republican Walls to the city.
Significantly, the Vatican Hill stands as the closest and highest point in direct line of sight over the Field of Mars from the sacred Capitolium Temple Complex on Capitoline Hill.
Given its height above the Tiber River flood plains, its powerful geometric line of sight to the Capitolium and being outside the ancient city walls, from the 5th Century BCE onwards it became the most sacred Necropolis (Cemetery) for famous and noble Romans. One of the original names for the Hill being the “City (Hill) of the Divine” and a city of the dead.
The seven hills are:
- Aventine Hill (Latin, Aventinus; Italian,Aventino)
- Caelian Hill (Caelius, Celio)
- Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus,Campidoglio)
- Esquiline Hill (Esquilinus, Esquilino)
- Palatine Hill (Palatinus, Palatino)
- Quirinal Hill (Quirinalis, Quirinale)
- Viminal Hill (Viminalis, Viminale)
As for "Mystery," that name imprinted on the woman's forehead is the perfect designation for Vatican City. Mystery is at the very heart of Roman Catholicism, from the words "Mysterium fide" pronounced at the alleged transformation of the bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ to the enigmatic apparitions of Mary around the world. Every sacrament, from baptism to extreme unction, manifests the mysterious power which the faithful must believe the priests wield, but for which there is no visible evidence. Rome's new Catechism explains that liturgy "aims to initiate souls into the mystery of Christ (It is 'mystagogy.')" and that all of the Church's liturgy is "mystery."
Cybele arrival as the Magna Mater- Great Protector of Rome
In the year 204 BCE, the Punic War resulted in disastrous consequences for both the Roman army and the safety and security of Rome herself. Hannibal had plundered the Roman countryside and the strength of the traditional gods of the Capitolium Temple fell against growing unease.
A tradition recorded by several independent Roman authors is that several of the Sybline (Cybele) Oracles including Delphi, Athens were consulted and prophecized that Hannibal could be defeated only if the Idaean Mother of the Gods (Cybele) was brought from Pessinus, Phrygia to Rome. The personification of the Mother Goddess was the largest iron meteorite of the ancient world, a massive conical object over 16 ft in height worshipped as The Simulacrum of Cybele and weighing several hundred tons.
In the same year (204 BCE) an embassy consisting of five Roman Senators, with M. Valerius Laevinus as head of the delegation, was sent to Pessinus, the ruler of which was Attalus I (269-197 BCE), King of Pergamon (Turkey), an ally of Rome. Attalus initially refused the request. However, the Roman legend accounts that an Earthquake occured during the period of negotiations and was declared an omen and the voice of Cybele calling for release for her journey.
The Simulacrum of Cybele, the largest black iron meteorite in the world along with a large number of priests and attendants from the original temple complex made their arrival into Rome to a massive welcoming festival in 204 BCE undertaken by the Roman Senate.
The Phrygianum, Vatican Hill
So important was the new Goddess to Rome, the Senate commissioned two Censors M. L. Salinator and C. Cl. Nero to plan, design and construction an edifice worthy of housing the Black Stone- the Goddess Cybele (known as Magna Mater to Romans). A grand temple over 200 ft long was planned.
They selected Vatican Hill, on account of its important proximity and geographic relationship to the Capitol Capitolium Temple Complex on Capitoline Hill and that it did not hold any primary temples to the old gods of Rome. However, the site presented significant religious and engineering problems. Firstly, the Vatican Hill was the most important and sacred Necropolis of Rome. Secondly, the soft clay soil did not provide sufficient stability to support a typically grand Roman engineered Temple of bricks, stone and marble.
Instead, the Romans designed a brilliant series of levels of open chambers or "catacomb" structures as platforms into the soft soil allowing the weight to be redistributed evenly and flattening out the hill to provide greater space. It also meant most of the original 200+ year old Necropolis of Vatican Hill would be undisturbed.
The massive foundation catacombs and the Temple complex is recorded to have taken 13 years to build between 204 and 191 BC. On April 11, 191 BC, Praetor Marcus Iunius Brutus inaugurated and dedicated the temple to Cybele on Vatican Hill.
On this date, the Magna Mater was enthroned as the Sacred Protectress of the City by carrying a much smaller conical meteorite in a procession to a second Temple to Cybele midst the sanctuaries of the other gods upon Palatine Hill. In honour of this occasion the Ludi Megalenses were instituted and celebrated for the first time.
(This image does not properly represent the likely front of the Phrygianum)
(The Phrygianum was almost certainly of a facade of columns similar to the standard temple facade of Roman built shrines ABOVE)
The Megalesia continued to be celebrated for a week at the beginning of April recognized as the Goddess' birthday, on which great games were held in her honour in the Circus Maximus and culminating in the procession from Vatican Hill to Palatine Hill.
The design of the Phrygianum also provided additional benefits to the priest families of the cults of Cybele, Attis and Dagan/Ba'al/Moloch. The layers of catacombs that supported the structure were used as secondary chapels, frequently for human sacrifice rituals and initiations.
Under Claudius I (41-54 CE) the cult of Cybele on Vatican Hill underwent dramatic change as the Emperor as Pontifex Maximus (Roman Pontiff) claimed his rights as High priest over all cults including the Magna Mater. From around 43 CE onwards the Roman Pontiff became the new High Priest of the Phrygianum and the dates of Megalesia were changed to March 15 to 27 so as to coincide with the Spring Equinox.
Internal Design and Features of the Phrygianum, Vatican Hill
There remains some evidence of important features of the Phrygianum, including some prominent relics that remain in primary use today.
It is recorded that at least until the Dark Ages (600-900 CE) as one entered through the facade, to the atrium was at its centre a massive bronze pinecone known as the Pigna, dedicated to Attis, son and lover of Cybele.
The internal and main building consisted of five aisles, a wide central nave and two smaller aisles to each side, which were each divided by 21 marble columns. At the end (Transept) stood a massive ciborium (internal covering) over a sacred status to Cybele, behind which a reinforced structure held in place the massive Simulacrum (black meteorite) of Cybele.
The design of the baldacchino in the present St. Peter's Basilica by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1623 was said to have been inspired by its design. Its pagan origins remain in stark contrast to the rest of the church.
The Great Fire of Rome and aftermath
The Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE deliberately lit by Pope Linus and the followers of Paulinity (St. Paul the Apostle) did not damage the Phrygianum on account of its isolation from the main city.
It is highly likely that the priest classes of the Phrygianum provided some support and even early places for worship for the followers of Paulinity on account of the close association to the worship of Cybele and Hellenised Ba'al.
Prior to the fiction created that Apostle Simon bar Jonah (St. Peter) was not executed upside down outside the walls of Jerusalem during the siege around 69 CE, but transported to Rome and executed as the "first Bishop", it was said that St. Paul was buried beneath the Phrygianum in pride of place within the original Necropolis.
Recently, the Vatican posted the announcement that they believe to have the bones of St. Paul the Apostle, recovered "nearby" to the alleged burial of Simon bar Jonah.
Closure of the Phrygianum, Vatican Hill
Under Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE) a decree was issued across the Roman Empire that human sacrifice was considered a capital crime (death penalty). While no historical evidence remains, a legend is that Domitian was influenced in his decision upon the revelations of the elderly Flavius Josephus also known as St. Luke, who before his death rejected the counterfeit movement later known as Christianity and reverted to the original Nazarene/Gnostic gospels of the person we know as Jesus Christ.
All temples that participated in human sacrifice were closed down, including the Phrygianum. The priest families were banished from Rome and re-settled around Tusculum, south west of Rome.
However, using secret tunnels from a network of Necropolis around the region of Vatican Hill, the secret ceremonies of Cybele, including Paulinity of child sacrifice and worship continued within the catacombs.
Above ground and with succeeding Emperors, the strength and influence of gnosticism continued to grow and the Phrygianum remained closed. Under the reign of Antonius Pius (138-161) and at the height of the popularity of Gnostic Valentinius, the Emperor ordered the secret tunnels and satanic Catacomb temples sealed shut and banished several noble Roman families including a number of the Fulvius from Tusculum to Libya.
Septimus Severus and the restoration of the Phrygianum
In 193, Emperor Septimus Severus from Leptis Magna, Libya and with the support of the exiled Fulvius was the first Emperor to lift the ban on Paulinity as a Capital Crime. This ban was never Christian, as the word Christian was not invented until Constantine one hundred years later. Nor was it extended to the Boethusians of the Eastern regions of the Empire.
In 193, Severus also promptly closed down the Gnostic school of Valentinius teaching the original scriptures and message of Jesus, now being run by his son Hippolytus, who at the age of 79 was shipped off to Sardinia and died soon after.
Significantly, Severus ordered the reopening of the Phrygianum of Magna Mater, (the Great Temple of Cybele) on Vatican Hill, granting the temple to the Paulinists under his uncle Gaius Fulvius Victor. However, instead of returning the Temple to its ancient rituals for which the High Priestess was the most senior, Fulvius appointed himself Bishop of Rome (Pope) using the name Victor (Victorius) as a symbol of their victory over the Gnostics of Valentinius.
This made Pope Victor I only the second Bishop of "Christianity" in Rome since Linus 129 years earlier. However, Victor and his family who followed him including his son Pope Zephinrynus I (199-205) and his son Pope Callixtus I (217-222) were far from Christian.
Instead of the traditional sacrifice of children at major feast events, Victor instituted the sacrifice of children every time Mass was conducted. So bloodthirsty was their reign in the number of innocents sacrificed and corruption of office that in 222, Emperor Marcus Severus Alexander (222-235) had Callixtus executed.
The return to paganism of the Phrygianum
After the execution of Callixtus in 222, the Phrygianum returned into the hands of purely pagan priest families and regained its importance as a pagan shrine.
During the reign of Pope Fabian (236-250), it is certain he did not have control of the restored Phrygianum, nor Pope Novation (250-252) nor any of the following intermittent reigns of Popes including Eusebius of Caesaria (309-310).
An Altar to Cybele which was originally housed in the Phrygianum and dedicated to Cybele in 374 CE supports with certainty that Vatican Hill remained firmly a pagan temple to Cybele right up until the arrival of Pope Damasus (366-384).
The absence of any Pope attending the first Council of Nicaea can also be explained by the probable non existence of any "Christian" Bishop (Pope) of Rome during this period until Julius (later Pope Julius 337-352) was sent by Constantine as a Christian envoy around 337after the council had voted to created Christianity.
The reign of the Theodosians
The reign of the Theodosian Popes from Damasus onwards through Siricius, Anastatius, Innocent, Boniface, Celestine and Leo were the first to firmly make the Phrygianum a christian temple.
Pope Siricius around 384 was also given by his relative the Emperor, the title of Pontifex Maximus or "Roman Pontiff" (Pope).
By the time of Pope Vigilius (537-555) and the great plague sweeping the Empire, the Phrygianum was renamed St. Peters and the fictious line of Popes as written in the Liber Pontificalis came into existence.
The myth of Vatican Hill
A series of poorly constructed and supported myths remain to the present day concerning the origins of Old St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican Hill.
The first extraordinary fiction is that Emperor Nero (54-68) built a private race track over, or near the most sacred graves of nobles on top of Vatican Hill. The second part to this fiction is that Simon bar Jonah (St. Peter) and St. Paul were executed at the site of this private track and buried nearby on the hill.
Apart from the substantial archeological evidence published concerning investigations underneath the Vatican which indicates the majority of the hill was once a Necropolis and apart from the fact that no Roman Senate, nor Praetorian Guard, nor citizenry would have allowed an Emperor to commit such a sacrilige and have a private race track over or next to a cemetary, the source of the claim itself is suspect.
The source of these claims are said to be from Tacitus in a well-known passage of the Annals, (xv.44); a Roman historian who is said to have lived around 116 CE. The problem is no original manuscript of Tacitus survives except the 10th century testimony of a christian monk who claimed to have accurately transcribed the original work.
However, surviving fragments of an original surviving manuscript by Sulpicius Severus called Chronica from the 5th Century which also quotes Tacitus contradicts many of the alleged same statements "transcribed" by the christian monk. The second source of the claims is the highly dubious and heavily re-edited Liber Pontificalis.
The Liber Pontificalis also introduces an additional set of deliberately fraudulent allegations including the admission that a Temple to Cybele did exist on top of Vatican Hill but along with a private race course of dead emperors, a small Necropolis and a grand Basilica built by Constantine as a "gift" to the people of Rome which took "thirty years" to build from 326 to 356.
Apart from the other great fraudulent "gifts" of Constantine, including the infamous letter claiming authority granted to the Catholic Church as well as Pope Sylvester happening to be the person who "christened" Constantine, there is no hard evidence of Constantine devoting any of his funds or time improving or creating buildings in Rome when he was busily lowering the power of Rome by building his "new Rome" of Byzantium.
The end of the Phrygianum
In 1505, the Phrygianum was finally demolished on the orders of Pope Julius II in order to make way for the new massive pagan temple we know today as St. Peters Basilica.
The massive new structure underwent a number of architectural redesigns and progressive building over the next one hundred and fifty years, with Michaelangelo playing a crucial part.
St. Peters Basilica
Who Is the Whore?
The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a "whore" (Revelation 17:1), that earthly kings "have committed fornication" with her (verse 2), and that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (verse 3). Why would a city be called a whore and be accused of having committedfornication with kings? Such an indictment would never be made of London or Moscow or Paris—or any other ordinary city. It wouldn't make sense.
Fornication and adultery are used in the Bible in both the physical and the spiritual sense. Of Jerusalem God said, "How is the faithful city become a harlot!" (Isaiah 1:21). Israel, whom God had set apart from all other peoples to be holy for His purposes, had entered into unholy, adulterous alliances with the idol-worshiping nations about her. She had "committed adultery with stones and with stocks [idols]" (Jeremiah 3:9); "and with their idols have they committed adultery" (Ezekiel 23:37). The entire chapter of Ezekiel 16 explains lsrael's spiritual adultery in detail, both with heathen nations and with their false gods, as do many other passages.
There is no way that a city could engage in literal, fleshly fornication. Thus we can only conclude that John, like the prophets in the Old Testament, is using the term in its spiritual sense. The city, therefore, must claim a spiritual relationship with God. Otherwise such an allegation would be meaningless.
Though it is built on seven hills, there would be no reason to accuse Rio de Janeiro of spiritual fornication. It makes no claim of having a special relationship with God. And though Jerusalem has that relationship, it cannot be the woman riding on the beast, for it is not built on seven hills. Nor does it meet the other criteria by which this woman is to be identified.
Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City. She claims to have been the worldwide headquarters of Christianity since its beginning and maintains that claim to this day. Her pope enthroned in Rome claims to be the exclusive representative of God, the vicar of Christ. Rome is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and in that too she is unique.
Numerous churches, of course, are headquartered in cities, but only one city is the headquarters of a church. The Mormon Church, for example, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, but there is much more to Salt Lake City than the Mormon Church. Not so with Vatican City. It is the heartbeat of the Roman Catholic Church and nothing else. She is a spiritual entity that could very well be accused of spiritual fornication if she did not remain true to Christ.
Not only does Rome's pope call himself the vicar of Christ, but the Church he heads claims to be the one true Church and the bride of Christ. Christ's bride, whose hope is to join her Bridegroom in heaven, is to have no earthly ambitions. Yet the Vatican is obsessed with earthly enterprise, as history proves; and in furtherance of these goals it has been, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, engaged in adulterous relationships with the kings of the earth. That fact is acknowledged even by Catholic historians.
Christ said to His disciples, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The Catholic Church, however, is very much of this world. Her popes have built an unrivaled worldwide empire of property, wealth, and influence. Nor is empire-building an abandoned feature of the past. We have already seen that Vatican II clearly states that the Roman Catholic Church today still ceaselessly seeks to bring under its control all mankind and all their goods.
Popes have long claimed dominion over the world and its peoples. Pope Gregory XIs papal bull of 1372 (In Coena Domini) claimed papal dominion over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. In Coena was confirmed by subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal law.
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) claimed that all undiscovered lands belonged to the Roman Pontiff, for him to dispose of as he pleased in the name of Christ as His vicar. King John II of Portugal was convinced that in his Bull Romanus Pontifex the pope had granted all that Columbus discovered exclusively to him and his country. Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, however, thought the pope had given the same lands to them. In May 1493 the Spanish-born Alexander VI issued three bulls to settle the dispute.
In the name of Christ, who had no place on this earth that He called his own, this incredibly evil Borgia pope, claiming to own the world, drew a north-south line down the global map of that day, giving everything on the east to Portugal and on the west to Spain. Thus by papal grant, "out of the plenitude of apostolic power," Africa went to Portugal and the Americas to Spain. When Portugal "succeeded in reaching India and Malaya, they secured the confirmation of these discoveries from the Papacy..." There was a condition, of course: "to the intent to bring the inhabitants ... to profess the Catholic Faith." It Was largely Central and South America which, as a consequence of this unholy alliance between church and state, had Roman Catholicism forced upon them by the sword and remain Catholic to this day. North America (with the exception of Quebec and Louisiana) was spared the dominance of Roman Catholicism because it was settled largely by Protestants.
Nor have the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas forgotten that Roman Catholic priests, backed by the secular sword, gave their ancestors the choice of conversion (which often meant slavery) or death. They made such an outcry when John Paul II in a recent visit to Latin America proposed elevating Junipero Serra (a major eighteenth-century enforcer of Catholicism among the Indians) to sainthood that the pope was forced to hold the ceremony in secret.
Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my servants would fight." The popes, however, have fought with armies and navies in the name of Christ to build a huge kingdom which is very much of this world. And to amass their earthly empire they have repeatedly engaged in spiritual fornication with emperors, kings, and princes. Claiming to be the bride of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has been in bed with godless rulers down through history, and these adulterous relationships continue to this day. This spiritual fornication will be documented in detail later.
The more deeply one probes into the history of the Roman Catholic Church and its current practices, the more impressed one becomes with the amazing accuracy of the vision John received centuries before it would all be lamentable reality. John's attention is drawn to the inscription boldly emblazoned upon the woman's forehead: "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). Sadly enough, the Roman Catholic Church fits the description "mother of harlots and abominations" as precisely as she fits the others. Much of the cause can be traced to the unbiblical demand that her priests be celibates.
The great apostle Paul was a celibate and recommended that life to others who wanted to devote themselves fully to serving Christ. He did not, however, make it a condition for church leadership as the Catholic Church has done, thereby imposing an unnatural burden upon all clergy that very few could bear. On the contrary, he wrote that a bishop should be "the husband of one wife" (I Timothy 3:2) and set the same requirement for elders (Titus 1:5,6).
Peter, whom the Catholics erroneously claim was the first pope, was married. So were at least some of the other apostles. This fact was not the chance result of their having been married before Christ called them, but it was accepted as an ongoing norm. Paul himself argued that he had the right to marry like the rest: "Have we not power [Greek exousia, the right or privilege or authority] to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles and as the brethren [half-brothers, sons of Mary and Joseph] of the Lord, and as Cephas [Peter]?" (I Corinthians 9:5).
The Roman Catholic Church, however, has insisted upon celibacy even though many Popes, among them Sergius III (904-11), John X (914-28), John XII (955-63), Benedict V (964), Innocent VIII (1484-92), Urban VIII (1623-44), and Innocent X (1644-55), as well as millions of cardinals, bishops, archbishops, monks, and priests throughout history, have repeatedly violated such vows. Not only has celibacy made sinners of the clergy who engage in fornication, but it makes harlots out of those with whom they secretly cohabit. Rome is indeed "the mother of harlots"! Her identification as such is unmistakable. No other city, church, or institution in the history of the world is her rival in this particular evil.
History is replete with sayings that mocked the church's false claim to celibacy and revealed the truth: "The holiest hermit has his whore" and "Rome has more prostitutes than any other city because she has the most celibates" are examples. Pius II declared that Rome was "the only city run by bastards" [sons of popes and cardinals]. Catholic historian and former Jesuit Peter de Rosa writes:
Popes had mistresses of fifteen years of age, were guilty of incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery [by jealous husbands who found them in bed with their wives].... In the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the pope?
As for abominations, even Catholic historians admit that among the popes were some of the most degenerate and unconscionable ogres in all of history. Their numerous outrageous crimes, many of which are almost beyond belief, have been recited by many historians from preserved documents that reveal the depths of papal depravity, some of which we will cover in later chapters. To call any of these men "His Holiness, Vicar of Christ" makes a mockery of holiness and of Christ. Yet the name of each one of these unbelievably wicked popes, mass murderers, fornicators, robbers, warmongers, some guilty of the massacre of thousands - is emblazoned in honor on the Church's official list of popes. These abominations that John foresaw not only occurred in the past but continue to this very day, as we shall see.
Finally, the angel reveals to John that the woman "is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). Is there such a city? Yes, and again only one: Vatican City. Popes crowned and deposed kings and emperors, exacting obedience by threatening them with excommunication. At the time of the First Vatican Council in 1869, J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, Professor of Church History in Munich, warned that Pope Pius IX would force the Council to make an infallible dogma out of "that pet theory of the Popes — that they could force kings and magistrates, by excommunication and its consequences, to carry out their sentences of confiscation, imprisonment, and death...." He reminded his fellow Roman Catholics of some of the evil consequences of papal political authority:
When, for instance, [Pope] Martin IV placed King Pedro of Aragon under excommunication and interdict...then promised indulgences for all their sins to these who fought with him and [tyrant] Charles [I of Naples) against Pedro, and finally declared his kingdom forfeit...which cost the two kings of France and Aragon their life, and the French the loss of an army...
Pope Clement IV, in 1265, after selling millions of South Italians to Charles of Anjou for a yearly tribute of eight hundred ounces of gold, declared that he would be excommunicated if the first payment was deferred beyond the appointed term, and that for the second neglect the whole nation would incur interdict....
Though John Paul II lacks the power to enforce such brutal claims today, his Church still retains the dogmas which authorize him to do so. And the practical effects of his power are no less than those of his predecessors, though exercised quietly behind the scenes. The Vatican is the only city which exchanges ambassadors with nations, and she does so with every major country on earth. Ambassadors come to the Vatican from every major country, including the United States, not out of mere courtesy but because the pope is the most powerful ruler on earth today. Even President Clinton journeyed to Denver in August 1993 to greet the pope. He addressed him as "Holy Father" and "Your Holiness."
Yes, ambassadors of nations come to Washington D.C, to Paris, or to London, but only because the national government has its capital there. Nor does Washington, Paris, London, or any other city send ambassadors to other countries. Only Vatican City does so. Unlike any other city on earth, the Vatican is acknowledged as a sovereign state in its own right, separate and distinct from the nation of Italy surrounding it. There is no other city in history of which this has been true, and such is still the case today.
Only of the Vatican could it be said that a city reigns over the kings of the earth. The phrase "the worldwide influence of Washington" means the influence not of that city but of the United States, which has its capital there. When one speaks, however, of the influence of the Vatican around the world, that is exactly what is meant — the cityand the worldwide power of Roman Catholicism and its leader the pope. Vatican City is absolutely unique.