India is NOT a Catholic country. What's behind the Pontiff's history-making India visit? What are Catholic plans for Asia?
THE WORLD is being swept off its feet by this new Pope. He has shown himself to be a vigorous leader — he has dared to do things NONE of his predecessors dreamed of doing! Pope Paul is remaking the "image" of the Roman Catholic Church! Few people understand that each activity — each unprecedented trip the Pontiff takes — is part of an over-all plan. Each move by Paul VI is significant. It's a step in the fulfillment of his dream of world religious unity — led and guided, of course, by the Roman Pontiff!
India — Key to Asia
Pope Paul recognizes the importance of India. India is a VITAL KEY TO SOUTHEAST ASIA! India has always influenced the religion of non-white Asia. In order to sway the world, the Pontiff realizes he must influence especially the peoples and leaders of Asia. Few Westerners have any conception of the numbers of Roman Catholics already in Asian countries. The pope knows that there are thirty-eight million Catholics in Asia — many of whom are well-educated, and in positions of great influence! Catholics can CHANGE ASIA'S FUTURE! That's why the Vatican is vitally interested in India. Paul VI is the first pope to ever visit India. Ostensibly to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, Pope Paul planned also to establish personal contact with the leaders of the oriental religions. He knows the power of personal contact. The Associated Press reported that far from seeking contact with Indian Catholics alone, Pope Paul joined "in a fraternal and unprecedented session with non-Christian leaders, quoted Hindu scripture, cited a Hindu prayer and commended' its use." "The Pontiff said that all men must begin 'to build the common future of the human race.' "
New World Peacemaker
Before an audience of Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Zoroastrian Parsees, the pope asked, "Are we not ALL ONE in this struggle for a better world...?" On his return from India, he said that he hoped his trip would have "historic and spiritual consequences"! The historic image of the Catholic Church has been one of influencing, aiding and controlling the governments of Europe and Latin America alone. Often this has led to bitter feelings and war. But the world is tired of war! Everyone wants peace — his own way! As a result, Pope Paul has come out in the role of PEACEMAKER! He knows that the fear of nuclear war and the desire for world peace can bind the religions of the world together in a common bond. This universal — Catholic — cooperation of all religious sects under Vatican leadership has long been the dream of Papal planners. Paul VI began what may be called the "Vatican Aid Program" with a token gift of $50,000 for the poor of India. In Lebanon he gave another $40,000 for the same purpose of helping the poor. After seeing India's masses — poor, starving, living and sleeping in the streets — Church leaders hope that the pope will be stirred also to hurry the completion of a new Catholic stand on the matter of birth control.
The Art of Compromise
The BIG QUESTION has not yet been asked! Will the differences of worship — the differences of doctrine and DEITY — hinder this Catholic drive for ultimate world religious unity? Certainly not! After returning to Rome, Pope Paul reported that his trip had impressed on him the need for a new mentality" of Christian love. But what kind of "love"? In the past, when confronted with the heathen religions of the old world, Church leaders have COMPROMISED! And through compromise — the love of this present evil world — they have gained the support of heathen peoples. Hear the evidence of history! British archeologist, Walter Johnson, writing of the Roman Catholic conversion of Britain, said, "Christian and pagan ideas were blended. Following the wise, and, indeed, only practical method — that of peaceful permeation — the church often retained the forms of heathen ceremonies, while actually investing these with new meanings." (Byways in British Archeology, page 25) In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory was faced with the problem of influencing the British toward Catholicism. What did he do? He wrote to Bishop Mellitis "that the temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed.... For if those temples are well built it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation [Britain], seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts...."
Baptizing Heathen Customs
Most Christians today don't realize the extent to which the customs they practice are actually a syncretism — a "blending" — of pagan ways which have been "christened" with Christian names! Sir James George Frazer long ago exposed the true origin of modern holidays in his authoritative book, The Golden Bough. He writes, "When we remember that the festival of St. George in April has replaced the ancient pagan festival of the Parilia; that the festival of St. John in June has succeeded to a heathen midsummer festival of water: that the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin in August has ousted the festival of Diana; that the feast of All Souls [Hallowe'en] in November is a continuation of an old heathen feast of the dead; and that the Nativity of Christ himself [Christmas] was assigned to the winter solstice in December... we can hardly be thought rash or unreasonable in conjecturing that the other cardinal festivals of the Christian church [so-called] — the solemnisation of Easter — may have been in like manner, and from like motives of edification, adapted to a similar celebration of the Phrygian god Attis at the vernal equinox." (The Golden Bough, page 360) Notice the great variety of sources the Roman Church has drawn from to create a universal religion which could be accepted by the bickering pagans of Europe. And it was all done by mislabeling heathen rites "Christian." Walter Johnson writes, "Thus, by the retention of... idolatrous feasts, of pagan symbols and ceremonies, of the heathen names for the days of the week, the new religion [false Christianity] gained entrance [into Europe] (Byways of British Archeology, page 27) The Roman Church has been noted for its willingness to compromise and adapt its message to the practices of non-Christian peoples. In Mexico, Central and South America, the Indians may be seen dressed in their feathered costumes, dancing their ancient ceremonial dances and often sacrificing at the steps of a cathedral built on the foundations of their ancient pagan temples! Why should we think Catholic influence in Asia will be any different?
Ancient Ideas of "UNITY"
Actually this practice of labeling heathen customs, rites and traditions "good" or "Christian" is a VERY OLD IDEA! It is the approach which prevailed in many ancient civilizations — especially those of Greece and Babylon! So admits Dr. W.A. Visser t'Hooft, secretary of the World Council of Churches. Who began the idea of one universal religion after the Flood in the days of Noah? It sprang out of the heart of that arch-rebel Nimrod at BABEL (Gen. 10:9-10, 11:1-9). It is a Babylonian idea. Ever since God Almighty scattered the nations at Babel, they have stubbornly striven for their lost WORLD UNITY! Pope Paul VI is revealing himself in the role of NEW LEADER in this world's quest for unity. What he will do in the future — and why — will have far more effect on your life than you remotely dream! Jesus Christ spoke of these events. He warned "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). He meant, "Watch WORLD NEWS!" The time is approaching when the true faith will be stamped out — and a baptized paganism, falsely labeled "Christian," will be imposed in the world. Unless you are watching world news — and remain true to the faith — you won't be able "to stand before the Son of Man." Be sure to write in for our free booklet, "1975 In Prophecy." It reveals exactly what the future holds for you!