The Protestant Founding Fathers understood human rights were founded on the Scriptures. What does the Roman Catholic Church have to say about human rights? Modern Catholic apologists: Dave Armstrong (previously an evangelical), Thomas F. Madden, Kevin Knight, and Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University (another former Protestant) defend the Catholic Church mightily. The entire foundation for Roman Catholicism is based on Apostolic Succession. Upon this very doctrine Catholicism will stand or fall.
Before the brutal facts are displayed, let's not forget after Israel's rebirth in 1948, the Catholic Church refused Israel's right to exist for 46 years! Why would they do that? Animosity perhaps against Jerusalem? The fact is, Jerusalem and Rome have been enemies since the days of the Caesars. Catholic Rome claims to be the "Eternal City" and the "Holy City" titles the Bible has given to Jerusalem. Rome also claims to be the "New Jerusalem" putting her in direct conflict with the true city of David. Rome wants to influence Jerusalem and keep her an international city with no nation in control of her.
The Vatican has consistently fought every democratic advance beginning with England's Magna Carta in 1215. Pope Innnocent denounced it immediately as:
[N]ull and void and excommunicated the English barons who obtained it..and absolved the king of his oath to the barons.--Judgment Day, Dave Hunt and The Pope and the Council. J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, London 1869. p. 19. See also R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power. New York 1876, p. 419.
Even though the popes brought in mercenaries to defeat the barons, they eventually lost.
Pope Leo XII reproved Louis XVIII for granting the "liberal" French Constitution, while Pope Gregory XVI denounced the Belgian Constitution of 1832. His outrageous encyclical, Mirari vos, of August 15, 1832 (which was later confirmed by Pope Pius IX in his 1864 Syllabus Errorum), condemned freedom of conscience as an "insane folly" and freedom of the press as a "pestiferous error, which cannot be sufficiently detested."--Judgment Day, p. 54-55. Dollinger, p. 21. See also Sidney Z. Ehler and John B. Morrall, Church and State Through The Centuries. London, 1945, pp. 299, 314.
|Pope Pius IX|
It is true modern catholics quote Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) to establish their position on human rights. However, Bellarmine isn't as clean as they make him out to be. Pope Sixtus V (1585-90) rewrote the entire Latin Bible, adding phrases, leaving out entire verses, changing titles of the Psalms; you get the picture. Sixtus declared his translation must be held "true, lawful, authentic, and unquestioned in all public and private discussions..." Anyone who disobeyed was excommunicated. The clergy realized his bible contradicted the Council of Trent and every textbook after it. Fortunately, Sixtus died and Bellarmine devised the cover up:
On 11 Nov. 1590, Bellarmine returned to Rome...Personally relieved that Sixtus, who had wanted him on the Index [of forbidden books and authors], was dead, he feared for the prestige of the papacy....Bellarmine advised the [new] pope to lie. Some of his admirers have disputed this. Their task is formidable. The options were plain: admit publicly that a pope had erred on a critical matter of the Bible or engage in a cover-up whose outcome was unpredictable. Bellarmine proposed the latter.--Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Peter de Rosa (Crown Publishers, 1988), pp. 217-219.
Bellarmine and some scholars went to work and in six months corrected the errors. They tried to confiscate all the originals but a few escaped the Catholics, and one copy is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Bellarmine, who was absolutely obedient to the pope, declared:
[W]hatever the Roman Pontiff commanded must be believed and obeyed no matter how evil or ludicrous.--Judgment Day, Dave Hunt, Berean Call, 1994, p. 111. See also Vicar of Christ by de Rosa.
Of course Bellarmine could find no support for such an extreme view in the Bible or in common sense. His blind obedience seared his common sense as well, "..anyone, simply by consulting his senses, could know for sure that the earth is motionless." He surely did not take the advice of his friend Galileo..
When Emperor Constantine supposedly became a Christian in A.D. 313 (a sly political maneuver), he gave the Christian church political status along with the pagans, and declared himself its de facto head. He convened the first ecumenical council; the Council of Nicea, in 325, "set its agenda, gave the opening speech, and presided over it as Charlemagne would over the Council of Chalon 500 years later, interested not in the truth of the gospel but in unifying the empire." Constantine headed both the Church and the Pagan Priesthood "to officiate at pagan celebrations, and to endow pagan temples even after he began to build Christian churches."
They honored him as head of the pagan priesthood, Pontifex Maximus, and "Bishop of Bishops" while Constantine called himself Vicarius Christi (Vicar of Christ). Being a pagan, he meant he was "another Christ" acting in the place of Christ. Ironically, the Greek "anti" is "vicarius" in Latin. Vicar of Christ literally means Antichrist. Catholics have used that moniker for centuries, but they got it from Constantine; a pagan! Today's popes used the titles that Constantine used. The anti-christ will be the new "Constantine" the chief ecumenist, heading the one world religion and revived Roman Empire.
The revived Roman Empire is mentioned in the Bible. This kingdom is mentioned in the Book of Daniel:
Daniel 7:2-3,17,23-24The fourth kingdom is stronger than the others. Daniel says the kingdom is represented by a beast, and the Book of Revelation says that kingdom did not die, but will be revived:
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Revelation 13:1-3From the last sentence in Revelation 13, many Bible interpreters believe the anti-christ will have a deadly wound and rise from the dead. However, Satan cannot create life, but he can make it appear that happened. The beast and its heads represent several things at once; Satan, the Anti-Christ, Kings, Kingdoms, and the revived Roman Empire. The Roman Empire did not die, but was fragmented, which is what the last sentence in chapter 13 is referring to for the reason already given.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.