Pope Francis I: The Idolatry Continues
By Pastor Dean Odle
March 14, 2013
Yesterday, Pope Francis I made an astonishing statement in the closing remarks of his first address as the new Roman Pontiff. He said, "Now, I will give you and the whole world a blessing, to all men and women of good will. Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna so that she protects all of Rome. Good night and have a good rest."
In light of this incredible statement that he was going to pray to Mary, it is time to address this false, idolatrous religious system that claims to be Christianity. It is time for the world and many naive Christians to wake up from their drunken stupor of accepting the Roman Church's corruption of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's blatant idolatry, it's deep systemic sexual immorality, and it's political ambitions of a contrived peace through a socialist world government. But before we look at this specific problem of Rome's blatant idolatry through Mary worship, we have to understand that God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth revealed the rise of this evil institution in the book of Revelation. God gave numerous identifying clues so that His people would recognize this idolatrous entity. He also revealed how it would work with the Antichrist in the last days.
The Great Whore Riding the Beast
In Revelation 17 and 18 God gave the Apostle John a prophetic vision about a harlot religious system that was full of idolatry. For those of you who are not familiar with what I mean by “harlot religious system” or “great whore” then let’s take a closer look at what the Apostle John prophesied. He saw a “great whore” rising in the earth and riding on a beast in the last days. We know from Revelation 13 & 17 and the book of Daniel that the beast with seven heads and ten horns will be a unification of nations into a one world government that will have ten kings and one leader of those ten kings. This leader will be the last world ruler known as the Antichrist. In Revelation 17, this whore and the beast are seen riding together, however they are not the same thing.
The “beast” is a political and economic system that will be led by the “little horn” (the Antichrist). The “great whore” is a religious entity and system that will work with the Antichrist. You may wonder how I know it is a religious system. Well, it is really simple if you look up the definitions of the Greek words used in the passage. The terms “fornication” and “harlot” are defined in the Strong’s Greek Dictionary as either literal sexual sins and/or the spiritual sin of idolatry. That alone identifies “the whore” as a religious entity. Not to mention, we were told in Revelation 13 that the beast/Antichrist would have a false prophet working with him to cause multitudes of people to “worship” the beast and his image. The term “worship” denotes religion and worshipping anyone or any god instead of or even along with Jesus Christ is a false religion and idolatry. True Christianity worships Jesus Christ as God and none other. Furthermore, the very definition of a prophet is one who speaks for God or a god, revealing this person to be a religious leader with great influence.
So, let’s identify the “great whore.” The Bible tells us that this whore sits on many waters. That may sound strange, but then a few verses later this symbolism is explained. Revelation 17:15 says, “And he saith unto me, ‘The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’” This tells us that this “religious entity” has an international presence and influence upon multitudes. That would definitely describe the Roman Catholic Church and its over one billion adherents worldwide.
The next clue is Revelation 17:9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” If you look up the city of Rome, Italy in almost any Encyclopedia or book, one of the first things you see is that Rome is known as the “the City on Seven Hills.” The clues continue in Revelation 17:18 where it says, “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” The word “reigneth” here is a present tense Greek verb which means “ongoing, continuous action that is taking place in the present.” Thus, he was taking about a great city that was presently reigning over the kings of the earth. Well, in 96 A.D. when the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, the Roman Empire ruled over the kings of the earth from their great city of Rome.
However, if you are still not convinced, John identifies her further. Revelation 17:4 says, “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.” The Roman Catholic Church has two ruling bodies in it: one contains the bishops and archbishops and the other the cardinals. The bishops wear purple and the cardinals wear scarlet which is red. In fact, the popes wore red up until the sixteenth century. At times they can still be seen wearing red or purple capes for different occasions…a coincidence? I don’t think so.
One of the most glaring indictments that identify the Roman Catholic Church as the “great whore” is Revelation 17:6. It says, “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.” It is not a secret that the Roman Catholic Church tortured and killed millions of true Christians and Jews during their numerous inquisitions and crusades. Some estimate that they have killed around sixty-eight million people. [**This clue is a MAJOR reason why the United States is NOT Mystery Babylon. The USA has not killed millions of Christians to the point we are "drunk" with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus]. No...The Roman Catholic Church killed and persecuted millions of Christians for centuries. It is Rome that is drunk with the blood of martyrs not America. And though Rome claims to have changed since those inquisition days, I personally believe (and many would agree with me) that she has continued murdering true saints covertly through her secret agents the Jesuits. No wonder the Apostle John marveled at this treacherous whore.
She is also called, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” This word “mystery” means something that it hidden, covered up or a secret. So, this Scripture is saying that this religious system will have aspects of ancient Babylon covered up or hidden by something. It is clear from the Bible and archeological discoveries that Babylon was, at one time, the center of false religion and idolatry of the world. They worshipped different gods and goddesses like Lilith and Bel. They built opulent temples for their gods and attempted to unify the world under their dual religious and political system. This is exactly what the popes have been trying to do for a very long time.
For instance, Pope Pius the XII (March 2, 1939 – October 9, 1958) was an unabashed internationalist. In a 1959 speech entitled “Legacy to World Federation” He urged for peace on three levels: 1) “The reaffirmation for the necessity of a Supranational World Order.” 2) “Accept the United Nations but with ceaseless efforts to strengthen it.” 3) “We must promote the fullest cooperation with every agency that promotes international friendship.” Pius said that, “Catholics have the obligation of insisting on the ratification by America of the Genocide Pact and of working for reorganization of the United Nations in order to make it more consistent with that world institution” which Pius the XII stated should have “supreme power”.57
His successor Pope John XXIII stated in 1963, “Along with its plea to the United Nations to become ‘more equal to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks,’ the Pope’s encyclical made a case for the establishment of world government with all the cogency of his theologians’ best proofs that God exists. In Vatican language Pacem en Terris calls world government a ‘public authority’, but defines it as ‘having worldwide power and endowed with the proper means for the efficacious pursuit of the universal common good.’ The Pope held that such a government must be founded because all nations are now interdependent.”58 Pope John Paul II was also very dedicated to developing the “New World Order” with a reformed United Nations. This is why he worked so diligently with Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. It wasn’t about freedom; it was about preparing the way for world government. Uniting the nations of Europe under one government and currency would be the prototype for their ultimate goal. In fact, Pope John Paul II made this statement in the early 1990’s: "By the end of this decade we will live under the first one world government that has ever existed in the society of nations…a government with absolute authority to decide the basic issues of human survival. One world government is inevitable."59
More recently Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2009 encyclical entitled, Caritas in Veritate, or Charity in Truth, “…there is an urgent need of a true world political authority…with real teeth” whose task would be “to manage the global economy.”60 And this is exactly what the Bible tells us that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will accomplish. They will have a world government and then control the world economy through the “mark” of the beast: “…And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18).
Something else to consider is the reference made by the Apostle Peter to a church in Babylon when in fact at that time the literal city of ancient Babylon was nothing more than ruins as it is today. He wrote, “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son” (1 Peter 5:13). In this verse, Babylon is recognized as a code word meaning Rome. This is because there is no evidence that Peter ever ministered in Babylon. Roman Catholics have even acknowledged this association saying, “‘Babylon,’ from which Peter addresses his first Epistle, is understood by learned annotators, Protestant and Catholic, to refer to Rome - the word Babylon being symbolic of the corruption then prevailing in the city of the Caesars.”61
Over the years some Protestants have argued that the Bible never says Peter was in Rome, but Catholics disagree and use 1 Peter 5:13 saying, “While there were many things that happened connected with Jesus and the Apostles that are not written in the Bible (see John 21:25), Peter’s presence in Rome is confirmed by it. In his first epistle Peter closes by saying ‘She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son Mark’ (5:13). ‘She who is chosen’ refers to the Church in Rome. ‘Babylon is a Christian code word for Rome and the Roman Empire. Examine Revelation 17:5 where the author uses Babylon — mother of harlots and the earth’s abomination, drunk on the blood of Christian martyrs — in this sense. At the time Peter was writing, Babylon was no longer a great city but a deserted relic of mud huts.”62
As if all of these identifying marks are not enough, in Revelation 18, God begins to declare His judgment on “Babylon the great.” He makes this cry, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” This lets us know that some of His people are in this Mystery Babylon (the Roman Catholic Church), but He wants them to come out of that system of idolatry. Following this a statement was made that reveals beyond any doubt that “Babylon the great” is the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible says, “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Rev. 18:7). The word ‘queen’ here in the original Greek is the word ‘basilissa’ pronounced bas-il’-is-sah. From this word comes the Latin word ‘basilica’ which was originally used to describe a Roman public building as early as the second century B.C. In other words, this Mystery Babylon says in her heart, “I sit a basilica.” Could it be any more obvious than that?
Some might think that I am alone in this belief. But I recently heard two well-known prophecy teachers on television teach that the Roman Catholic Church is the Great Whore of Revelation 17. The first one is minister and author Irvin Baxter on his television program End of the Age. Baxter also has an article on this issue on his website.63 And then, I was given the DVD set of Perry Stone’s 2011 Conference in Griffin, Georgia. In session five entitled 666 and the Scarlet Harlot, Perry Stone taught this exact same thing about the Roman Catholic Church. Other men of God like the late Keith Green, Leonard Ravenhill and most of the Reformers believed this as well. Really, you have to be either spiritually blind, ignorant, or have an agenda to not see that the Roman Church is the Great Whore…there is just too much evidence.
In my book The Polluted Church: from Rome to Kansas City published last year, I addressed these things about the Catholic church and how they have spread into many other segments of Christianity. But today i want to address the question: Do Roman Catholics worship Mary? Here is an excerpt from chapter eight of my book:
Drunk with the Wine of Her Idolatry
“…the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (idolatry)”
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed”
2 Peter 2:1-2 (NKJV)
The March 21, 2005 cover of TIME Magazine reads, “Catholics have long revered her, but now Protestants are finding their own reasons to celebrate the mother of Jesus.”
For many years Protestant Christians have been brainwashed into believing that Roman Catholicism is just another denomination in the church world and that they are true brothers and sisters in Christ, but it is not that simple. Even though there are some very moral and sincere Catholics, most of them are not born again through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ alone. Instead, they have embraced a system of religious rituals that they believe leads to salvation. Sadly, Roman Catholicism is riddled with several different forms of idolatry.
But before I continue, let me make it clear that I do NOT hate Roman Catholics—I hate idolatry. I hate any sin that could keep a person out of heaven. I also know that there are different degrees of Roman Catholicism. There are those who are devoted and practice the rituals and prayers to Mary and the saints regularly and then some that consider themselves Roman Catholic simply because of their parents or grandparents. Then, there are those few that have managed to encounter the real Jesus Christ and become born again through repentance and faith in His Word. They may have found the truth in their own private Bible study and prayer time, in a small group or when they visited a different denomination. They are just babes in Christ and have a lot to learn about the Bible and don’t know all of the things “their Church” teaches. Sooner or later these true Christians must decide to either follow the Bible and the real Jesus Christ or continue in the idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church.
This reminds me of a foreign exchange student from Spain that started attending an Assemblies of God church that I was a part of years ago. She was a senior and had been truly born again for the first time at that Pentecostal church. She was radically saved and gave her life to Jesus even though she had been a Roman Catholic since birth.
At that time, I had a Friday night Bible study at my house that drew as many young people as it did adults. We usually had between 25 and 40 people there every week and this young lady attended frequently. On the Friday before she returned to Spain, I asked her where she was going to go to church when she got home. She said, “I guess I will just go back to our Catholic Church with my family.” Upon hearing this, I asked her to turn to Exodus 20 and read the Ten Commandments. After she finished reading, I asked her, “Do Catholics have statues all over their churches and do people bow before them?” She said, “Yes.” And I said, “Didn’t God say not to do that? Isn’t that idolatry?” She said, “Yes it is.” So, I asked, "What are you going to do?" She replied in a very serious tone while looking down at her Bible, “I can’t go back to the Catholic Church, that’s for sure.” A few weeks after she returned to home, I received a picture from her in the mail. It was of her at my house and on the back of the picture, she thanked me for showing her the truth in the Bible and helping her to make the decision to leave the idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church.
Do Roman Catholics Worship Mary?
It really is no secret that Roman Catholics pray to Mary and dead saints. Many people are familiar with the well-known Hail Mary prayer but do not realize that it is not the only prayer or praise that Catholics are taught to offer Mary. And though Roman Catholics will swear up and down that they do not worship Mary, prayers like the Ave Regina and Salve Regina clearly praise and worship her. Add to that the numerous pictures of popes and Catholics bowing before statues and icons of Mary and there is no way to deny that Catholics DO worship Mary, placing her in the position of a goddess. They do this in spite of the fact that there is not one verse in the Bible where any prophet, apostle, or the Lord Jesus taught us to pray to or worship anything or any being other than God. Hence, this is a great departure from Biblical Christianity and is a horrendous form of idolatry.
This quote is from Ad Caeli Reginam, the encyclical of Pope Pius XII given at Rome on October 11, 1954 to establish the feast of Queenship of Mary:
“From the earliest ages of the Catholic Church, a Christian people, whether in time of triumph or more especially in time of crisis has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. And never has that hope wavered which they placed in the Mother of the Divine King, Jesus Christ; nor has that faith ever failed by which we are taught that Mary, the “Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mothers solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen.”68
Did you see that? Pope Pius XII admitted that prayers of petition, hymns of praise, and veneration (another word for worship) have been addressed to the Queen of Heaven (Mary) for ages by Catholics. If you do not recognize this as idolatry, then you have created a new definition of the word! Even the Catholic Encyclopedia admits, “The whole tradition of venerating holy images gradually and naturally developed.”69 And, these idolatrous practices of worshipping Mary through prayer, praise, and bowing to statues of her have been carried on and advocated by the succeeding popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
It is also made clear in Catholic doctrine that they blasphemously believe that Mary aids in our salvation calling her co-redeemer with Jesus Christ. For example, the Second Vatican Council (Lumen gentium) #61-62 says of Mary, “…in suffering with Him as He died on the cross, she cooperated with the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope, and burning love, to restore supernatural life to souls. As a result, she is our Mother in the order of grace. This motherhood of Mary in the economy of grace lasts without interruption, from the consent which she gave in faith at the annunciation, and which she unhesitatingly bore with under the cross, even to the perpetual consummation of all the elect. For after being assumed into heaven, she has not put aside this saving function, but her manifold intercession, she continues to win the gifts of eternal salvation for us.”
What a hideous blasphemy! The Bible says, “But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands (like a wafer), that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:11-12). Christ did it all by His blood. According to Scripture, Mary has no part in obtaining our salvation. The Apostle Peter put it this way, “Neither is there salvation in any other;” (Acts 4:12a).
Here are several excerpts from what Roman Catholics call the four Marion antiphons which are prayers that are recited or sung during different services. I found these on the website of the Roman Catholic cable channel EWTN. This first one is the entire Ave, Regina prayer taken from their website, “Hail, O Queen of Heaven, Welcome, O Queen of Heaven. Welcome, O Lady of Angels Hail! Thou root, hail! Thou gate. From whom unto the world, a light has arisen: Rejoice, O glorious Virgin, Lovely beyond all others, Farewell, most beautiful maiden, And pray for us to Christ. Allow me to praise thee, O sacred Virgin. Against thy enemies give me strength. Grant unto us, O merciful God, a defense against our weakness, that we who remember the holy Mother of God, by the help of her intercession, may rise from our iniquities, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.” By the help of her intercession we may rise from our iniquities??!! What?? The Bible says that Christ ever lives to make intercession for us and that it is only by faith in His blood that we can possibly “…rise from our iniquities.” Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we need Mary to assist us in overcoming our iniquities. That is a blasphemous error that insinuates that the blood of Christ and His Holy Spirit is not sufficient for us. But before that they say, “Allow me to praise thee, O sacred virgin” and yet they claim that they do not worship Mary. Unfortunately, it only gets worse!
Here is an excerpt from Regina Caeli, “Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life: Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.” Where is that in the Bible? Everlasting life comes through Jesus Christ alone. Jesus said that He was the Living Water that gives eternal life (John 7).
This excerpt from Salve, Regina says, “Hail, holy Queen! Hail, holy” “Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary” Really??!! Mary is our life, hope, and advocate??!! NO! Jesus is our ONLY life, hope, and advocate according to the Bible.
I found the following unbiblical teaching on the website of EWTN (www.ewtn.com) as well. If you follow their links from the main page to Faith then Teachings and then Mary, the Mother of Jesus, you will find an outline of all their teachings and devotions to Mary. One such devotion is by St. Anthony on the alleged immaculate conception of Mary. Quote, “St. Anthony Francis of Lucera (b. 1681; d. 1742 A.D) is one of the most famous Franciscan preachers in the history of the Order. Like his spiritual father, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Anthony of Lucera had the most ardent devotion to the Mother of God.” He wrote in his Marion devotion, “O soul, ponder how, transparent and pure She was from the very moment of Her Immaculate Conception, Mary came forth from the Most High God as the first-born Daughter of all creation, formed by His creative word. Her appearance on the earth was like the first immaculate ray of light…the sun, the moon, the stars, all of nature, the whole visible and invisible world bowed at her feet as She walked the earth.” Are you kidding me? This is nothing more than the ancient goddess worship from Babylon, Sumer, and almost every other pagan culture since the fall of man from the God of Israel.
Sadly, Catholics take their idolatry of Mary even further. Here is part of the passage that I had the Spanish foreign exchange student read, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me: And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).
But what really blows my mind is how so many present-day ministers of Jesus Christ ignore or make light of this serious sin of idolatry in the Roman Catholic Church. They seem to be in a drunken stupor when it comes to the idolatry of Rome. However, idolatry is a sin listed in the New Testament and the Bible makes it clear that anyone practicing it will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here is what God says about this issue:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). And the Greek word here for ‘do’ is prasso and it means to practice habitually.
If there is still any question that the habitual sin of idolatry will keep people out of heaven and put them in hell for all eternity, just take a look at Revelation 21:6-8, “And He (Jesus) said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Oh! When will so-called men of God rise up and call the Roman Catholic Church what it is? It is a counterfeit Christian church that is riddled with false doctrine, idolatry, pedophilia, and demonic miracles and it is leading millions away from a relationship with the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. Of course there have been a few men of God that publically told the truth about the Roman Catholic Church. One such man was the late Leonard Ravenhill. He was a true man of prayer, a prophet, and a fiery preacher of righteousness. He mentored other godly preachers of our time like Steve Hill of the Brownsville Revival, author and theologian Dr. Michael L. Brown and the late David Wilkerson, author of the Cross and the Switch Blade and founder of Times Square Church. Ravenhill was also the author of such classics like Sodom Had No Bible and his best-known book, Why Revival Tarries.
Ravenhill said of the Roman Catholic Church, “Evangelists today are wide-eyed to the might of Communism, but tight lipped at the menace of Romanism. America would shake from coast to coast in twenty-four hours if some preacher, anointed with the Holy Ghost gave the Roman Catholic Church a broadside! We stir national interest against the cruel, half-civilized Mau Mau (wicked enough) but powwow with and pander to the Roman Catholic Church! These priests who dope men’s souls, these idolatrous “masses,” these Calvary eclipsing prayers to Mary, these miserable millions cheated in life and in death by the greatest forgery Lucifer ever made.” 
This why I am so passionate about this: so many souls are in jeopardy of crossing into eternity without ever truly being born again through repentance (turning from sin like idolatry) and faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for eternal salvation in heaven. Don't fall for the idolatry of Mary worship, saint worship, Pope worship, Eucharist worship, angel worship, icon worship or statue worship and let the pomp of Rome lead you to an eternity in hell. They are not worth it.