Pope Asks Forgiveness for Roman Catholic Sins of Persecution!

Historic Papal Apology To Orthodox Catholics!
Pope Confesses Roman Catholicism is the "Mystery of Iniquity"

"Clearly there is a need for a liberating process of purification of memory. For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of Him."

"Some memories are especially painful, and some events of the distant past have left deep wounds in the minds and hearts of people to this day. I am thinking of the disastrous sack of the imperial city of Constantinople, which was for so long the bastion of Christianity in the East. It is tragic that the assailants, who had set out to secure free access for Christians to the Holy Land, turned against their own brothers in the faith. The fact that they were Latin Christians [Roman Catholics] fills Catholics with deep regret. How can we fail to see here the 'mysterium iniquitatis' at work [2 Thess. 2:7] in the human heart? To God alone belongs judgment and, therefore, we entrust the heavy burden of the past to his endless mercy, imploring him to heal the wounds that still cause suffering to the spirit of the Greek people."

— Pope John Paul II, May 4th, 2001

online at the Vatican web site.

The phrase "mystery of iniquity" appears in only one place in all of scripture, and it refers to the apostate antichrist power:

2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2 Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2 Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2 Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2 Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2 Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

star.gif (4793 bytes) An Historic "Mea Culpa".
star.gif (4793 bytes) Pope Apologizes for Roman Catholic sins of persecution against Orthodox Catholics.
star.gif (4793 bytes) Pope Asks Pardon; Orthodox Prelate Adamant.

Day of Pardon, March 12th, 2000

Pope John Paul II dressed in purple, and attending Cardinals dressed in scarlet at the Papal Apology Mass Pope John Paul II holding the golden cup
during the Papal Apology Mass
Images © 2000 by CTV

Rev 17:4 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:
Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

On March 12th, 2000, at the Vatican in Rome, Pope John Paul II formally asked forgiveness for the various persecution sins committed by the Catholic Church over the last two millennium. In his "Day of Pardon" homily, the pope confessed:

"... we cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions."

The Pope had previously admitted that Catholic:

"... acquiescence given to intolerance and even the use of violence in the service of truth (cf. star.gif (4793 bytes) Tertio Millennio Adveniente, n. 35). Although many acted here in good faith, it was certainly not evangelical to think that the truth should be imposed by force. Then there is the lack of discernment by many Christians in situations where basic human rights were violated."
Source: star.gif (4793 bytes) Audience in the Vatican, Paul VI Hall, Wednesday, Sept. 1st, 1999.

These assert that Catholics erred only in their zealousness to forcefully impose the truth on heretics. It seems the Pope overlooks the fact that Protestants broke away from Catholicism after concluding that it had fallen away from the truth. Access to vernacular Bibles coming from Protestant printing presses exposed the blatant apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church to the Protestant reformers, and they all came to the conclusion that Rome was Mystery Babylon, the apostate church, which scripture also plainly identifies as a bloody persecutor, dressed in purple and scarlet.

Prominent cardinals directly participating in the unprecedented papal apology ceremony on March 12th wore both prophesied colors of purple and scarlet. The Pope (shown above) and his Bishops, wore various shades of purple, as that is the specified color to be worn during Lent, as is symbolizes penitence.

Above Images © 2000 by CTV


On the right is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, previously known as the Office of the Inquisition. Cardinal Ratzinger read the introduction for the prayer for the CONFESSION OF SINS COMMITTED IN THE SERVICE OF TRUTH:

"Let us pray that each one of us, looking to the Lord Jesus, meek and humble of heart, will recognize that even men of the Church, in the name of faith and morals, have sometimes used methods not in keeping with the Gospel in the solemn duty of defending the truth."

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
© 2000 by CTV


Here on the left you see Cardinal Cassidy, the President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Cardinal Cassidy read the introduction to the prayer for the CONFESSION OF SINS AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL:

"Let us pray that, in recalling the sufferings endured by the people of Israel throughout history, Christians will acknowledge the sins committed by not a few of their number against the people of the Covenant and the blessings, and in this way will purify their hearts."

Cardinal Edward Cassidy
© 2000 by CTV


At right is Cardinal Francis Arinze, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, dressed in purple and scarlet, introducing the prayer of CONFESSION OF SINS AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF WOMEN AND THE UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE:

"Let us pray for all those who have suffered offences against their human dignity and whose rights have been trampled; let us pray for women, who are all too often humiliated and emarginated, and let us acknowledge the forms of acquiescence in these sins of which Christians too have been guilty."

Cardinal Francis Arinze
© 2000 by CTV

The apostate woman (church) of Revelation 17, who wears purple and scarlet, is clearly located geographically in scripture:

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The apostate persecuting church, the mother of harlots, "sits" or rules from the seven-hilled city of Rome, and claims to rule "universally" (Catholic) over all the kings and people of the world. That Pope John Paul II now acknowledges Catholic guilt, and wants to ask forgiveness for all the blood the Catholic Church has shed, only serves to further confirm her identity as Mystery Babylon, and scripture says the following regarding her:

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Rev 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

The truth is that Pope John Paul II is not responsible for the blood shed by Catholics of the past, and he cannot be granted forgiveness for the sins committed by his church. Those who committed the acts of persecution and oppression will be responsible for them, and if they did not seek forgiveness and repent of their sins, then they will suffer for them in the judgment. As Revelation 18 makes clear, God's people are asked to come out of the apostasy of Catholicism, and embrace the biblical truths of scripture before she is judged for her apostasy and iniquities. The Pope, by seeking forgiveness for past Catholic atrocities, is merely admitting that the blood of thousands of uncounted innocents is indeed on her hands, just as scripture charges.

Rome's Apologies Predicted 116 Years Ago!

    The Romish Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christ like garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of popery that existed in ages past exists to-day. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The popery that Protestants are now so ready to embrace and honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up at the peril of their lives to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption [pg. 388] that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty, and slew the saints of the Most High.
    Popery is just what prophecy declared that she would be,--the apostasy of the latter times. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon, she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. "We are not bound to keep faith and promises to heretics," she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?
    It is not without reason that the claim has been put forth that Catholicism is now almost like Protestantism. There has been a change; but the change is in Protestants, not in Romanists. Catholicism indeed resembles the Protestantism that now exists; but it is far removed from Protestantism as it was in the days of Cranmer, Ridley, Knox, and other reformers.
    As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil; and as the inevitable result, they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.
    A large class, even of those who look upon Romanism with no favor, apprehend little danger from her [pg. 389] power and influence. Many urge that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of her dogmas, superstitions, and oppression, and that the greater intelligence of modern times, the general diffusion of knowledge, and the increasing liberality in matters of religion, forbid a revival of intolerance and tyranny. The very thought that such a state of things will exist in this enlightened age is ridiculed. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shining upon this generation. In the open pages of God's holy word, light from Heaven has been shed upon the world. But it should be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the darkness of those who pervert or reject it.
    A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy, and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but men are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences; and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world,--those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power. [pg. 390]
    A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of popery. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In past ages, when men were without God's word, and without the knowledge of the truth, their eyes were blindfolded, and thousands were ensnared, not seeing the net spread for their feet. In this generation there are many whose eyes become dazzled by the glare of human speculations, "science falsely so called;" they discern not the net, and walk into it as readily as if blindfolded. God designed that man's intellectual powers should be held as a gift from his Maker, and employed in the service of truth and righteousness; but when they are idolized, and laid upon the shrine of Satan to be employed in the service of a false religion, then intelligence can accomplish greater harm than ignorance.
    In the movements now in progress in this country to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the State, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for popery to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance, --a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority.

Source: Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4, by Ellen G. White, published in 1884, pages 387-390. Also found in Great Controversy, published in 1911, pages 571-573.



star.gif (4793 bytes) DAY OF PARDON texts at the Vatican website.

See the following articles about this topic:

At the BBC:

star.gif (4793 bytes) Letter from America, by Alistair Cooke:  The most significant event of recent times. (at about 7:52)

At Religion Today:

star.gif (4793 bytes) Catholic and Pentecostal leaders confessed sins and asked forgiveness from each other.

At CWN (Catholic World News)

star.gif (4793 bytes) Pope Apologizes For The Death Of Jan Hus

star.gif (4793 bytes) Vatican Preparing Document on Past Faults

star.gif (4793 bytes) Theologians Ponder Church Appeals For Pardon



star.gif (4793 bytes) THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S "MEA CULPA"


star.gif (4793 bytes) World Reacts to Papal Request for Pardon