The recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States drew international attention. Those who watch the continually strengthening relationship between the Roman Church Empire and the United States, because of their study of the two prophetic powers described in Revelation 13, might find these three news articles especially interesting-
1. Associated Press Headline- Bush, big White House crowd to greet pope on his birthday
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
Excerpt- “…In remarks during pomp-filled festivities that have had Washington aflutter for days, Bush was to tell the pontiff and the crowd how glad America is to have him visit – and to tell Americans they should listen to his words…
“This get-together by Bush and Benedict is the 25th meeting between a Roman Catholic pope and a U.S. president, sessions that span 89 years, five pontiffs and 11 American leaders…
“The president kicked off the unprecedented series of events by motoring to Andrews Air Force Base just outside Washington on Tuesday to meet Benedict’s plane, something he’s never done for any leader. The pontiff received a screaming, cheering reception befitting a rock star from the hundreds of Catholic students and others who filled bleachers on the tarmac while Bush, accompanied by his wife, Laura, and daughter Jenna, assumed the unusual role of second fiddle.”
2. CNN Headline- Bush greeting pope in big way
- Bush driving to meet pope’s plane, something he’s never done for a visiting leader
- White House crowd will be largest of Bush’s presidency
- Bush’s explanation: “He speak for millions … he comes as a man of faith”
- Talks expected to include treatment of Christian minority in Iraq
Excerpt- “There are more than 64 million reasons for this. Catholics number nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population, making them a desirable constituency for politicians to court.
“‘The pope represents not just the Catholic Church but the possibility of moral argument in world affairs and it is very important for American presidents to rub up against that from time to time,’ said George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and biographer of Pope John Paul II.
“The Vatican — seat of a government as well as a religious headquarters — has an interest, too.
“‘It wants to be a player in world affairs, and everyone understands that to do that you have to be in conversation with the United States,’ said John Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the independent National Catholic Reporter.
3. CNN Headline- Papal visit seen as challenge for event planners
Excerpt- “‘This [visit] is a little bit different, in that the head of state is also the head of the Catholic Church that is visiting the White House,’ [White House Press Secretary Dana] Perino said…
“Following the ceremony, a one-on-one meeting is planned between the two men in the Oval Office. That meeting is slated to last 30 to 40 minutes, but could go longer.
“‘When you’re talking about a meeting with the Holy Father, the schedule’s only a suggestion,’ the Bush aide said.”
For additional information on the prophecy of Revelation 13 see Last Days Events, Chapter 16 “The Close of Probation” and The Great Controversy, Chapter 25 “God’s Law Immutable.” Personally studying these things helps us avoid Conspiracy Theories (see “Those Conspiracy Theories”by Bill Knott, Adventist Review April 10, 2008