6. Other Marks of Identity
“He Shall Speak Great Words”
THE little horn was to “speak great words against the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. We shall now quote a few extracts from authentic Roman Catholic sources showing the fulfillment of this prophetic utterance: Pope Leo XIII in his “Great Encyclical Letters” says: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” - p. 304. In this encyclical the pope has capitalized all pronouns referring to himself and to God.
In a large, authentic work by F. Lucii
Ferraris, called “Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica Juridica Moralis Theologica,”
“The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. . . .
“Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions. . . .
“So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the Pope. . . .
“The Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been entrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom.” - Quoted in “Source Book,” (Revised Edition) pp. 409, 410. Washington, D. C.: 1927.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says of the pope:
“The sentences which he gives are to be forthwith ratified in heaven.” - Vol. XII, art. “Pope,” p. 265.
Pope Leo XIII says:
“But the supreme teacher in the Church
is the Roman Pontiff.
We leave it with the reader to decide whether or not these are “great words.” St. Alphonstis de Liguori, a sainted doctor of the Roman church, claims the same power for the Roman priests. He says:
“The priest has the power of the keys,
or the power of delivering sinners from hell, of making them worthy of
paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of
God. And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests. . . .
The Sovereign Master of the universe only follows the servant by confirming in
heaven all that the latter decides upon earth. “Dignity and Duties of
the Priest,” pp. 27, 28.
“Innocent III has written: ‘Indeed, it
is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the
priests are so many gods.” -
A Persecuting Power
The little horn was also to “wear out
the saints of the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. That is, it was to persecute them
till they were literally worn out. Has the Papacy fulfilled this part of the
prophecy’? In order to do Roman Catholics no injustice, we shall quote from
unquestioned authorities among them. And, since they persecute people for
“heresy,” we must first let them define what they mean by “heresy.” In the New
Catholic Dictionary, published by the Universal Knowledge Foundation, a Roman
“Heresy (Gr., hairesis, choice), deciding for oneself what one shall believe and practise.” Art. “Heresy,” p. 440.
According to this definition any one who will not blindly submit to papal authority, but will read the Bible, deciding for himself what he shall believe, is a “heretic.” What official stand has the Catholic Church taken in regard to such heretics? This we find stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia in the following words:
“In the Bull ‘Ad exstirpanda’ (1252)
Innocent IV says: ‘When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to
the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the
podesta or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall,
within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them.’ . . . Nor
could any doubt remain as to what civil regulations were meant, for the
passages which ordered the burning of impenitent heretics were inserted in the
papal decretals from the imperial constitutions ‘Commissis nobis’ and
‘Inconsutibilem tunicam.’ The aforesaid Bull ‘Ad exstirpanda’ remained
thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by
several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicolas IV
(1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities,
therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute
the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to
be noted that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person
excommunicated did not free himself from excommunication within a year, he was
held by the legislation of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the
penalties that affected heresy.” - Vol. VIII, p. 34 (See also
“Dictionary of the Inquisition,” in “Illustrations of Popery,” J. P.
Challender, pp. 377-386, New York, 1838; and “History of the Inquisition of the
Middle Ages, H. C. Lea, Vol. 1. pp. 337 338,
This Encyclopedia was printed in 1910,
and bears the sanction of the Catholic authorities, and of their “censor,” so
that here is up-to-date authority showing that the Roman church sanctions
persecution. The Roman church here acknowledges, that, when she was in power,
she forced the civil government to burn those whom she termed heretics, and the
government officials who failed to execute her laws, became heretics by that
neglect, and suffered the punishment of heretics. Professor Alfred Baudrillart,
a Roman Catholic scholar in
“The Catholic Church is a respecter of
conscience and of liberty. . . . She has, and she loudly proclaims that she
has, a ‘horror of blood.’ Nevertheless when confronted by heresy she does
not content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual and moral
order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal
punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like those of the Inquisition,
she calls the laws of the State to her aid, if necessary she encourages a
crusade, or a religious war and all her ‘horror of blood’ practically
culminates into urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost
more odious - for it is less frank - than shedding it herself. Especially did
she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard to Protestants. Not content
to reform morally, to preach by example, to convert people by eloquent and holy
missionaries, she lit in
“Indeed, even among our friends and our
brothers we find those who dare not look this problem in the face. They ask
permission from the Church to ignore or even deny all those acts and
institutions in the past which have made orthodoxy compulsory (This explains
why some Catholic authors deny that their church ever persecuted).“The
Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism,” pp. 182-184.
Andrew Steinmetz says:
“Catholics easily account for their
devotion to the Holy See, in spite of its historical abominations, which,
however, very few of them are aware of their accredited histories in common
use, ‘with permission of authority,’ veiling the subject with painful
dexterity.” - “History of the Jesuits,” Vol. I, p. 13.
Dr. C. H. Lea says:
“In view of the unvarying policy of the
Church during the three centuries under consideration, and for a century and a
half later, there is a typical instance of the manner in which history is
written to order, in the quiet assertion of the latest Catholic historian of
the Inquisition that ‘the Church took no part in the corporal punishment of
heretics.”‘ - “History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,” Vol. I, p.
Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) made the following decree for the destruction of all heretics, which is binding on civil rulers:
“Temporal princes shall be reminded and
exhorted, and if needs be, compelled by spiritual censures, to discharge every
one of their functions: and that, as they desire to be reckoned and held
faithful, so, for the defense of the faith, let them publicly make oath that
they will endeavour, bona fide with all their might, to extirpate from their
territories all heretics marked by the Church; so that when anyone is about to
assume any authority, whether spiritual or temporal, he shall be held bound to
confirm his title by this oath. And if a temporal prince, being required and
admonished by the Church, shall neglect to purge his kingdom from this
heretical pravity, the metropolitan and other provincial bishops shall bind him
in fetters of excommunication; and if he obstinately refuse to make
satisfaction this shall be notified within a year to the Supreme Pontiff, that
then he may declare his subjects absolved from their allegiance, and leave
their lands to be occupied by Catholics, who, the heretics being exterminated,
may possess them unchallenged, and preserve them in the purity of the faith.”-
“Decretalium Gregorii Papae Noni Conpilatio;” Liber V, Titulus VII,
Capitulum XIII, (A Collection of the Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 5, Title 7,
Chapter 13), dated
The sainted Catholic doctor, Thornas Aquinas, says:
“If counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered over to death forthwith by the secular authorities, much more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death. “Summa Theologica,” 2a, 2ae, qu. xi, art. iii.
That this principle is sanctioned by modern Catholic priests, we can see from the following statement:
“The church has persecuted. Only a tyro
in church history will deny that. . . . Protestants were persecuted in
We have now seen from the “decretals” of popes, from sainted doctors of the Roman church, and from authentic Catholic books, that they sanction and defend persecution, and history amply bears out the fact. Dr. J. Dowling says:
“From the birth of Popery in 606, to
the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more
than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of
heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious
murders for every year of the existence of Popery.” - “History of Romanism,”
pp. 541, 542.
W. E. H. Leeky says:
“That the Church of Rome has shed more
innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind,
will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history.
The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty, that it
is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims,
and it is quite certain that no power of imagination can adequately realize
their sufferings.” - “History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of
John Lothrop Motley,
speaking of papal persecution in the
Many Roman Catholic authors today have tried to prove that their church does not sanction persecution, but facts of history are too plain to be denied. Eternity alone will reveal what God’s dear children suffered during the Dark Ages. Accordingly as the Papacy attained to power, the common people became more oppressed, until “the noon of the Papacy was the midnight of the world.” - “History of Protestantism,” J. A. Wylie, LL.D., Vol. I, p. 16. London.
“Think to Change Times and Law”
But Daniel has still another prediction concerning the “little horn”; namely, that it should “ think to change times and laws,” or as the Revised Version has it: “times and the law.” James Moffatt’s translation reads: “He shall plan to alter the sacred seasons and the law.” Now, as the two preceding statements in this verse depict what the Papacy should do against the Most High, we must conclude that it is also the “times and the law” of the Most High which the Papacy should attempt to change. This could not refer to the ceremonial laws of the Jews, which were abolished at the cross (Ephesians ; Hebrews 9:9,10), but to the Ten Commandments, which are binding in the Christian era, to which dispensation this prophecy applies. (Matthew -19, -19; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:31, 7:7, 12, 14; James 2:10, 11.) From the prophecy of Daniel it is therefore evident that the Papacy would attempt to make some changes in the moral law.
After the worship of images had crept into the church during the fourth to the sixth centuries, its leaders finally removed the second commandment from their doctrinal books, because it forbids us to bow down to images (Exodus 20:4, 5), and they divided the tenth, so as to retain ten in number. Thus the Catholic Church has two commandments against coveting, while Paul six times speaks of it as only one “commandment.” (Romans 7:7-13) Then, too, the Lord has purposely reversed the order of the supposed ninth and tenth commandments in Deuteronomy 5:21 to what they are in Exodus 20:17, so that the Catholics, following Deuteronomy 5:21, have “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” as their ninth commandment, while the Lutherans, following Exodus 20:17, have it as part of their tenth commandment, and their ninth command is: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.” Thus we see how people get themselves into trouble when they attempt to change the law of God.
The Papacy was also to change times. But the only commandment of the ten that has to do with time is the fourth, which commands us to keep holy the seventh day, on which God rested at creation. (Exodus 20:10, 11; Genesis 2:1-3) It is a remarkable fact that Christ, His apostles, and their followers kept the seventh day in common with the Jews (Mark 6:2, 3; Luke 4:16, 31, 23:52-56; Acts 13:42, 44, 16:12, 13, 17:2, 18:1-4), and that the New Testament is entirely silent in regard to any change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. This would be natural enough if the original Sabbath, which they were then keeping, should continue. But if a new day was to take its place in the Christian church, its Founder would certainly have given explicit directions for its observance. Yet not a word was spoken by Christ or His apostles, either before or after His resurrection, as to such a change. . It is another remarkable fact that Sunday is never called by any sacred title in the New Testament, but always referred to as a weekday, never as a holy day. It is classed as one of the weekdays, being called “the first day of the week.”
And yet we find the Christian world generally keeping it. Who made this change, when it is not recorded in the Bible? When, how, and why was it made? Who dared to lay hands on Jehovah’s law, and change His Holy Sabbath, without any warrant of Scripture?
All Protestant denominations disclaim any part in this crime. But the Roman Catholic Church boasts of having made this change, and even points to it as an evidence of its authority to act in Christ’s stead upon earth. We shall therefore ask her two pointed questions: 1. Men did you change the Sabbath? 2. Why did you do it? Here are her answers:
“The first proposition needs little
proof. The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of
a Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission changed the day from Saturday to
Sunday.” - “The Christian Sabbath,” p. 29.
“Ques. - Which is the Sabbath day? Ans. - Saturday is the Sabbath day.
“Ques. - Why do we observe
Sunday instead of Saturday? Ans. - We observe Sunday instead of Saturday
because the Catholic Church, in the council of
“ The Church substituted Sunday for
Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon
her. “The Convert’s Catechism of Christian Doctrine,” Rev. Peter Geiermann,
C. SS. R., p. 50.
“The Church . . . took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday . . . . And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” - “Catholic World,” (New York), March, 1894, p. 809.