New Pope – Benedict XVI

Dr. Michael L. Ford


            During the time between the last leader of the Roman Catholic Church’s demise and their choice of a new one I refrained from speculating about who it might be, though I did keep up with some of the leading candidates. But one thing that haunted my mind was whether or not the next leader would be the False Prophet spoken of in the Bible? All of them have been false prophets and antichrists because papal worship is nothing more than the ancient worship of Nimrod and his mother wife known as Ashtarte, Semiramis, and a host of other names.

            Who is the new Pope that the Catholics have chosen? He is a German, a former member of the Hitler Youth, conscripted to work as an antiaircraft helper until he became old enough to be drafted into the army. But that does not really tell us who he is. Neither does it matter that he is the first German pope since 1523. What might tell us something about him is the name he has chosen and the fact that for the past 24 years he has been responsible for the discipline of church dissidents and the upholding of church policy in the face of those calling for reform.

            Joseph Fessio told CNN the key to the name choice was not Pope Benedict XV, but St. Benedict, the co-patron of Europe and the founder of western monasticism. If he had St. Benedict in mind it would indicate that the new pope would make defending the embattled faith in Europe central to his mission just as St. Benedict and the monastic movement he led was essential to the spread of Christianity on the Continent in the sixth century. The new Pope may want to emphasize his religion to the new European Community which refuses to acknowledge Europe's Catholic roots.

The new pope’s connection to Pope Benedict XV who led the Church from 1914 to 1922 and oversaw the promulgation of the first Code of Canon Law is this. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger helped produce the second edition of the Code of Canon Law. After WWI, Turkish Muslims erected a statue to Benedict XV for his work with refugees during the war, a sign perhaps that Pope Benedict XVI will pursue peaceful relations with Muslim countries. Dissenting Catholics note Benedict XV formally ended Rome’s attack on modernism.

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