Summary: For the first 60 years of the 20th century, Rome seemed to be at business as usual for her. Seniors today were raised with a Romanism that was a far cry from the compromising brand of today. Thus the Protestant's ease in separating from her.
PART FIVE: THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION , 1948- present
FIFTY-NINE: THE BIRTH OF ISRAEL
Some Christians would say that one of the most exciting events in all modern history is the episode involving God's promises to the nation Israel. In 1948, the Gentile domination of the Promised Land begins its end as Israel raises the Star of David over the land that shall one day see the Seed of David enthroned.
I personally believe that a greater return of the Jews is envisioned by the prophets, one that involves their full conversion to their Messiah, but none can deny the miraculous nature of what has transpired over the past decades.
None of this is attributable to the Vatican. Theodore Herzl, father of the modern Zionist movement in the late 19th century, is granted a 30-minute interview with the reigning Pope, and asks him for both money and spiritual support. He is flatly turned down.
To the Roman way of thinking, Jewish occupation of Jewish territory is anathema. You will remember the Crusades, the attempt of Rome to free the Holy Land, not for its original residents, but for itself. You will recall also that here God intervened and simply said to Rome, "No! This is Mine." The land was to be preserved for that special moment when God would call to Israelis all over the world to people their ancient possession.
The Romanists see only the political ramifications of all of this and begin to hurt for Muslims, who already control all the Middle East. Of course, Rome is in pain for its own unmet needs, too. Thus the Vatican uses diplomatic pressure in the late 40's to turn the U.N. Assembly against Zionism, in favor of "internationalizing" Jerusalem. Further, it works closely with Muslims to meet their ends. (Blanshard, op. cit., p. 265) It is not until January of 1994 that Israel and Vatican City form ties.
Anti-Semitic is one thing. Anti- Israel is the same thing, magnified. Only recently has the Vatican finally corrected, at least outwardly, hundreds of years of abuse to the Jew.
SIXTY: PROTESTANTI NO!
Anti-Jew and anti-Protestant threads run side by side, of course. In 1949, P. Vittorio Genovesi of Pompeii, Italy, publishes Protestanti No!, a document which plays the anti-Protestant blues eloquently. I bring it in as an additional evidence of twentieth-century Romanism's connection with sixteenth-century Romanism. Just in case you have any doubt about the connection.
Genovesi, approved by Rome, says Protestants are
"disgraceful apostates of the sanctuary, in whom there is not a shadow of good faith. The heads of Protestantism were true and real criminals worthy of jail. Their principles are immoral and bring about anarchy."
Spoken not too very long ago. Is Babylon going to change? It's getting uncomfortably close to the present, when most Protestants dare not say a word about Romanism. Let's watch carefully now, lest we miss whatever it is that has so radically silenced a people known for their eloquence and -some would add - their verbosity: the Protestant preachers.
The most outspoken of them all is the one we today call Dr. William Franklin Graham. Just "Billy" in those days. "Billy" is quoted as saying that the "three gravest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism."
That was 1948. Billy Graham, champion of truth, carrier on of the line that starts with Christ, is passed on to His apostles, then the smaller and smaller group of believers through the Middle Ages, the Reformers, the Wesleys, Ironside, Halley, Hislop, and many others...but change is in the wind. Thank you, Billy, for what you saw and what you said, at least then.
SIXTY-ONE: POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE, ROMAN STYLE
It is now the "Holy Year," 1950. Pope Pius is on the Throne, taking the worship of all his subjects. Blanshard says,
"...every major celebration was systematically organized to demonstrate the homage of Catholics to Pius XII. His every appearance in a gorgeous processional was the signal for wild cheers of adulation. Thousands of pilgrims knelt in reverence before his bejeweled figure...he was borne into the middle of every celebration seated on his portable throne..."
Hislop (op. cit., p. 213) writes of another such Roman celebration. Bear with me as I share a rather lengthy portion of history:
"The drums were heard beating without. The guns of the soldiers rung on the stone pavement of the house of God...how unlike the suitable preparation to receive a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus! Now, moving slowly up between the two armed lines of soldiers, appeared a long procession of ecclesiastics, bishops, canons, and cardinals, preceding the Roman Pontiff, who was borne on a gilded chair, clad in vestments resplendent as the sun. His bearers were 12 men clad in crimson, being immediately preceded by several persons carrying a cross, his mitre, his triple crown, and other insignia of his office, along on the shoulders of men, amid the gaping crowds. His head was shaded or canopied by two immense fans, made of peacocks' feathers, which were borne by two attendants..."