Has Vatican Pressure Influenced Federal Banking Decisions --Myers Finance & Energy (August
GAO United States General Accounting Office August 4, 1993. Testimony
Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs United States Senate. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. First Financial Audits of IRS and Customs
Revealed Serious Problems. see transcript http://www.theantechamber.net/UsHistDoc/IrsAudit93/Irs8493AuditIndex.html [V.K.D.]
Statement of Charles A. Bowsher
Comptroller General of the United States
WWN 1984 Oct - Dec
1984 Oct -- XVII -- 10(84) -- U.S. - VATICAN RELATIONS --
Has Vatican Pressure Influenced Federal Banking Decisions --Myers Finance & Energy (August 10, 1984) reports "the FDIC has bought $4.5 billion of Continental's bad loans. It has paid $3.5 billion for these loans. It has added a billion dollars in capital. The FDIC has entered the banking business through the shell of Continental Illinois." (p. 3)
Behind this transaction is the action of the Federal Reserve System which "lent the FDIC $3.5 billion to put in the Continental kitty." While Mr. William Isaac, FDIC Chairman claims this action hasn't cost the taxpayers a penny, the $3.5 billion loaned by the Federal Reserve System placed the taxpayers money on the line should the takeover of Continental Illinois by the FDIC fail.
C. V. Myers, editor of Finance & Energy, notes what he terms "the most explosive facts in US banking history." He writes: "Insurance of over $100,000 in Continental Illinois has been pledged by the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. But the FDIC guarantee on the Continental deposits is 'not a blanket guarantee for other banks,' according to an FDIC spokesman.
"This separates Continental Illinois from all other banks in the US with the assurance of the full faith and credit of the US It's the only bank so covered. ...
"The whole truth is abundantly clear. Continental is no longer an institution of any kind. It's an empty shell that has now been taken over by the U. S. government through the FDIC, who will appoint the officers of the bank and actually, therefore, run the bank. Despite all denials, Continental is a nationalized bank." (Ibid.)
There are some things one should know about Continental Illinois from both the past and the present. "Continental was a Money Center Bank. That means it dealt in foreign deposits. Itscertificates of deposit would run up to a billion at a crack and even more. It had no substantial depositor base from business in the United States. Foreign money can leave as fast as it comes."(Ibid, p. 2) Further - "Continental has lent more that $2 billion to Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina - not to mention the bad domestic loans." (Ibid., p. 3) At the present time, resulting from the "bankruptcy" of the bank, William S. Ogden, former vice chairman of Chase Manhattan, now heads the bank. Keep this connection in mind.
The problem which this unique situation of the Federal government's involvement with Continental Illinois presents is how will other banks be effected. C. V. Myers outlines certain possibilities that could arise. He then asks a series of questions: "Will the government stand behind all of the banks in the US? Will it give its
p 2 -- citizens the same guarantees it gives foreign billionaires around the world at taxpayer's risk?
"What will be the repercussions on world banking if the US takes such a step? What will be the repercussions on world banking if the government should come out and say those guarantees no longer exist for depositors at Continental? Would the money leave Continental once more?"
Then comes, the bottom line of the article in Finance & Energy - "THE BANKING WORLD DEMANDS AN ANSWER." Will they ever get it, or do they know the answer? Is it the American people who do not know? We suggest that the answer can be found in the recently published book - In God's Name - by David A. Yallop. It is well documented and contains information obtained from highly placed sources within the Vatican, and the Catholic Church. Before giving excerpts from Yallop's research pertinent to the answer which "the banking world demands," background material needs to be given regarding two names which will appear in these excerpts. [All paging will be in reference to the book - In God's Name - unless otherwise indicated.]
The first name is Bishop Paul Marcinkus, now Archbishop, who was born in the suburb of Chicago, Cicero, of Lithuanian immigrant parents in 1922. The following year Al Capone, America's all-time Public Enemy Number One, set up headquarters in Cicero at the Hawthorne Inn at 4833 Twenty-Second Street. The population of Cicero "became accustomed to the sight of Mafia in their midst." (p. 103) Marcinkus, the youngest of five children born to this immigrant family was guided to the priesthood by the parish priest, and was ordained the year that Capone died. "Monsignor William Gorman, who officiated at the Catholic burial" of Capone, explained to reporters - "The Church never condones evil, nor the evil in any man's life. This very brief ceremony is to recognize [Capone's] penitence and the fact that he died fortified by the sacraments of the Church." (Ibid.) Yallop clearly infers that the environment of Cicero helped to mold the character of Marcinkus.
Marcinkus went to Rome where he studied in the Pontifical Gregorian University obtaining a degree in canon law. Rising in the Roman hierarchy, he was finally appointed by Pope Paul VI, after being consecrated Bishop, as the Vatican Bank's secretary. "For all practical purposes he was now running the bank." (p 105)
The second name is, that of Michele Sindona, who on June 13, 1980, was sentenced to a twenty-five year imprisonment and fined $20,000, having been found guilty on sixty-five counts, including fraud, conspiracy, perjury, false bank statements, and misappropriation of bank funds. These charges and conviction grew out of the collapse of the Franklin National Bank.
Born near Messina, Sicily, in 1920, Sindona was educated by the Jesuits. He graduated from Messina University with an excellent law degree. During the last three years of World War II, he put his law degree aside and dealt in black market activities with the aid of the Mafia. In 1946, he came to Milan and worked for a business consultant and accounting firm.
"Sindona's specialty, as American capital began to flow into Italy, was to show would-be investors how to dance their way through Italy's complex tax laws. His Mafia associates were suitably impressed with his progress. He was talented, ambitious, and, more important in the eyes of the Mafia, he was also ruthless, totally corruptible, and one of their own. He knew the importance of Mafia traditions such as omerta, the rule of silence. He was Sicilian." (p. 107)
Sindona was a shrewd "investor." In 1959, "the archbishop of Milan was trying to raise money for an old people's home. Sindona stepped in and raised the entire amount: $ 2.4 million. When Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini opened the Casa della Madonnina, Sindona was by his side. The two men became firm friends, with Montini relying more and more on Sindona's advice on problems other than diocesan investments.
"What Cardinal Montini [to be Pope Paul VI] may not have known is that the $ 2.4 million were supplied to Sindona very largely from two sources: the Mafia and the CIA. Former CIA agent Victor Marchetti has revealed: 'In the 1950s and the 1960s the CIA gave
p 3 -- economic support to many activities promoted by the Catholic Church, from orphanages to the missions. Millions of dollars each year were given to a great number of bishops and monsignors. One of them was Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini. It is possible that Cardinal Montini did not know where the money was coming from. He may have thought it was coming from friends.'" (p. 108)
Entering the banking business, and as a confidant of the next Pope, Sindona's progress was irresistible. He "created a Liechtenstein holding company, Fasco AG. Shortly afterward Fasco acquired a bank in Milan, the Banca Privata Finanzi-aria, usually called BPF. Founded in 1930 by a Fascist ideologist, the BPF was a small, very private, exclusive institution that served as a conduit for the illegal transfer of funds from Italy on behalf of a favored few." (pp. 107-108) "Again through his holding company, Fasco, he acquired the Banca di Messina. This move particularly pleased the Mafia families Gambino and Inzerillo, giving them, as it did, unlimited access to a bank in Sicily, in Sindona's own home region." (p. 109)
When Sindona became blocked in Italy from further expansion, he turned his attention to the United States. Acquiring the Franklin National Bank, he soon discovered that it was tottering on the edge of bankruptcy. "Within twenty-four hours of his purchase and before he had an opportunity to try out the boardroom for size, Franklin National Bank announced its trading figures for the second quarter of 1972. These showed a 28% drop from the same period for 1971. Sindona the Shark, the savior of the lira, and the man Marcinkus considered to 'be well ahead of his time as far as banking matters are concerned ' took the news in typical Sindona fashion. 'I have important connections in all important financial centers. Those who do business with Michele Sindona will do business with Franklin National. ...
"As to the 'important connections,' no one could deny the truth of that. These connections ranged from the Mafia families Gambino and Inzerillo in New York and Sicily to Pope Paul VI, Cardinals Guerri and Caprio, and Bishop Marcinkus in the Vatican. They included Andreotti and Fanfani in Rome [Italian Political leaders] and President Nixon and Treasury Secretary David Kennedy in Washington." (pp. 131-132) Kennedy prior to his appointment to the Treasury was chairman of Continental Illinois. Sindona's "connections" also "included intimate relationships with some of the most powerful institutions in the world - the Vatican Bank, Hambros, of London, Continental Illinois, and Rothschilds of Paris." (p. 132)
There is one more item of interest arising from the trial of Sindona that should be noted. "Sindona's trial on the massive array of charges arising from the collapse of the Franklin National finally began in early February 1980. Right before it started, the Vatican gave clear indication that the Roman Catholic Church at least was going to stand by its former financial adviser."
"Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio, Cardinal Sergio Guerri, and Bishop Paul Marcinkus had agreed to a defense counsel request that they help Sindona's case by swearing depositions on videotape. Intrigued by what these devout men might say about Sindona, the prosecution had raised no objection to this unusual gambit. It is normal for witnesses to have their statements tested on oath, in a courtroom, in front of judge and jury. For the men from the Vatican, trial judge Thomas Griesa waived this consideration, and he instructed Sindona's lawyers to fly to Rome on Friday, February 1. The understanding was that the deposition would be taken the following day, and the lawyers would report back to the judge on the following Monday...
"At the last minute - or more exactly, four hours before the depositions were to be sworn - the secretary of state, Cardinal Casaroli, intervened. There would be no depositions." Note carefully his reason: "They would create a disruptive precedent ... We are very unhappy about the fact that the American government does not give diplomatic recognition to the Vatican." (pp. 283-284)
Now we turn our attention to the answer the banking world demands regarding the government take-over of Continental.
p 4 -- The "healing of the deadly, wound" (Rev. 13:3) in 1929 was not only political but also economic. "The modern wealth of the Vatican is based on the generosity of Benito Mussolini. The Lateran Treaty, which his government concluded with the Vatican in 1929, gave the Roman Catholic Church a variety of guarantees and measures of protection.
"The Holy See obtained recognition for itself as a sovereign state. It was exempted from paying taxes both for its properties and its citizens, exempted from paying duty on imported goods; it had diplomatic immunity and accompanying privileges for its own diplomats and those accredited to it by foreign powers... The benefits for the Vatican were many, not least the fiscal ones.
'Article one. Italy undertakes to pay the Holy See, on the ratification of the Treaty, the sum of 750 million lire and to hand over at the same time Consolidated 5 percent State Bonds to the bearer for a nominal value of 1 billion lire.'
"At the 1929 rate of exchange this package represented $81 million. A 1984 equivalent figure is approximately $500 million. Vatican Incorporated was in business. It has never looked back.
"To handle the windfall, Pope Pius XI created on June 7, 1929, the Special Administration. Appointed to run it was a layman, Bernardino Nogara. Apart from having many millions of dollars to work with, Nogara had another important asset. One hundred years earlier, the Roman Catholic Church had completely reversed its position on money-lending." (pp. 9293) Various Church councils had dogmatically stated that charging any interest was contrary to divine law - thus usury. So although the laws of the State might make the practice legal, to the Church it was heresy. In 1830, the Church reversed this position and considered only exorbitant rates as usury.
"Bernardino Nogara was a member of a devout Roman Catholic family; many of its members made, in a variety of ways, significant contributions to the Church,... but Bernardino Nogara's contribution was by any standard the most profound....
"Nogara was reluctant to accept the job and did so only when Pope Pius XI agree to certain conditions.... The ground rules Nogara insisted on included the following:
'1. His decisions on what investments to make would be totally free from any religious or doctrinal considerations.
' 2. He would be free to invest Vatican funds anywhere in the world.'
"The pope agreed and opened the doors to currency speculation and to playing the market in stock exchanges, including the buying of shares in companies whose products were inconsistent with Roman Catholic teaching. Items such as bombs, tanks, guns, and contraceptives, might be condemned in the pulpit, but the shares Nogara bought for the Vatican in companies that manufactured these items helped to fill the coffers in St. Peter's.
"Nogara played the gold market and the futures market."... (p. 93-94)
"Realizing, before many, the inevitability of the Second World War, Nogara moved part of the assets then at his disposal into gold. He bought from the United States $26.8 million worth of gold at $35 per ounce. Later, he sold about 20% of it on the open market at a profit so substantial that the original purchases were covered in their entirety. His speculation in gold continued throughout his time as head of Vatican Incorporated.... [Yallop's] research indicates that nearly 500,000 ounces are on deposit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; this single holding of the Vatican - purchased originally for less than $20 million is now worth some $200 million.
"In 1933 'Vatican Incorporated' again demonstrated its ability to negotiate successfully with Fascist governments. The concordat of 1929 with Mussolini was followed with a concordat between the Holy See and Hitler's Third Reich. ...
"For the Vatican, one of the major advantages to emerge from the very lucrative deal with Hitler was confirmation of the Kirchensteuer (church tax).... Substantial amounts derived from theKirchensteuer began to flow to the Vatican in the years
p 5 -- immediately preceding the Second World War. The flow continued throughout that war ($100 million in 1943, for example), In the Vatican Nogara put the German revenue to work alongside of the other currencies that were pouring in.
"On June 27, 1942, Pope Pius XII decided to bring another part of the Vatican into the modern world and into the ambit of Bernardino Nogara. He changed the name of the Administration of Religious Works to the Institute for Religious Works. The change did not capture the front pages of the world's newspapers; but by that act the IOR, or the Vatican Bank as it is known by all but the Vatican, was born. Vatican Incorporated had sired a bastard child.... (pp. 95-96)
"The man whom Nogara selected to control the Vatican Bank was Father (later Cardinal) Alberto DI Jorio. Already functioning as Nogara's assistant in the Special Administration, he kept a foot in both sections by retaining that position and assuming the role of first secretary, then president, of Vatican Bank. Apart from the controlling interests in many banks that Nogara acquired outside the Vatican walls, he now had two in-house banks to work with.
"Nogara, applying his mind to the task of increasing the Vatican's funds, went from strength to strength. The tentacles of Vatican Incorporated spread worldwide. Close links were forged with an array of banks. Rothschilds of Paris and London had been doing business with the Vatican since the early nineteenth century. With Nogara at the Vatican's helm the business increased dramatically: Credit Suisse, Hambros, Morgan Guarantee, Bankers Trust (useful when Nogara wanted to buy and sell stock on Wall Street), Chase Manhattan, and Continental Illinois, among others, became Vatican partners." (p. 97, emphasis mine)
Newsweek (August 6, 1984, p. 48) in an article - "The First Nationalized Bank" - relates that two retired employees of Chase Manhattan were tapped to take over for the government for the beleaguered Continental Illinois. William Ogden, referred to as "the banker's banker," had been vice chairman of Chase Manhattan. John Swearinger, who had served as a director of Chase Manhattan, will serve as head of Continental's holding company. Both will be retained at $600,000 per year and "can exercise options to buy up to 400,000 shares in the bank at $4.50 per share each."
We return now to the story of "Vatican Incorporated" under Pope Paul VI. "Michele Sindona was the man chosen by Pope Paul VI to act as financial adviser to the Vatican; the man chosen after long friendship with the pope, to relieve the Church of its high-profile business position in Italy. The plan was to sell Sindona some of the major assets acquired by Nogara. Vatican Incorporated was about to distance itself from the unacceptable face of capitalism. Theoretically, it was going to embrace the philosophy contained in the message Pope Paul VI gave the world in his 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio." (p. 123)
Banca Privata, owned by Sindona began to flower. "In March 1965, Sindona sold 22% to Hambros Bank in London. Hambros, with its long-standing close links with Vatican finances, considered Sindona's direction of funds flowing into BPF 'brilliant.' So did the Gambino and Inzerillo families. So did Continental Illinois, which also bought, 22% of the bank from Sindona. Continental Illinois was by now the major conduit for all US investment by the Vatican....
"In 1964, Sindona had acquired yet another bank, this time in Switzerland, the Banque de Financement (Finabank) in Geneva. Largely owned by the Vatican, it was, like Sindona's first bank, little more than an illegal conduit for the flight of money from Italy. After Sindona's purchase of the controlling block of shares, the Vatican still retained 29% share in the bank. Hambros of London and Continental Illinois of Chicago also had a stake in Finabank." (p. 109)
Another problem arose during the Pontificate of Paul VI. It was the Chicago connection. "The total assets of the Roman Catholic Church in Chicago were by 1970 over $1 billion." (p., 190) "There were $60 million in parish funds on deposit with the Chicago chancery. Cody declined to tell anyone where the money was invested or who was benefiting from the interest."
p 6 -- "The Vatican's Chicago connection was by the early 1970's one of its most important links with the United States. The bulk of Vatican Incorporated's investment in the US stock market was funneled through Continental Illinois. On the board of the bank along with David Kennedy, a close friend of Michele Sindona, was a Jesuit priest, Raymond C Baumhart. The large amounts of money that Cody funneled to Rome became an important factor in Vatican fiscal policy. Cody might not be able to handle his priests, but he did know how to make a buck. When the bishop controlling the diocese of Reno made some 'unfortunate investments' and its finances totally collapsed, the Vatican asked Cody to bail him out. Cody telephoned his banking friends and the money was quickly found.
"Over the years the Cody-Marcinkus friendship became particularly close. They had so much in common, so many vested interests. In Chicago, with its very large Polish population unwittingly aiding him, Cody began to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars via Continental Illinois to Marcinkus in the Vatican Bank. Marcinkus would then divert the money to the cardinals in Poland." (p. 191) One of the Polish cardinals became Pope John Paul II. He accomplished what Cardinal Casaroli fretted about during the pre-trial deposition attempt - "diplomatic recognition of the Vatican." All the details of the connection between the Vatican and the US government are unknown. But the involvement between the two cannot be open to question; and the deep involvement of Continental Illinois with Vatican finances is a matter of record. All of these facts together should cast some light on why Continental Illinois became the first bank in the US to be nationalized.
OMINOUS -- The Spot Light (August 20, 1984) placed on its front page an editorial of a political nature. While we consider Spot Light an organ of the Catholic Right, and while we are not interested in the political aspects of the editorial, it did state some very provoking thoughts for consideration.
In the section - "What Is An Actor?" - it was noted than an, actor is "a hired hand who is successful to the extent that he or she can fool people." Then it observed that "all good actors have the ability to shed their real personality if they have one and 'become' someone else." But more importantly, the editorial continues, the actors "can satisfy their massive egos by basking in the light of constant publicity." Then "another thing all actors have to do in their professional calling is to memorize their lines. A good actor takes a script home and overnight memorizes his role. It's a necessary skill in their acting business, a skill few non-actors have." This "acting role" for the final times is inferred in the words of prophecy - "he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." (Rev. 13:11) In other words, it is the perfection of power to deceive.
On the world scene at the present time, we have two men who are wielding vast power, and who in their beginnings on the road to high office were actors - President Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II. These two men forged the awesome triumph of the Papacy - diplomatic recognition by the United States. Their common background as actors may explain their affinity for each other. Further, and this dare not be overlooked, Dr Billy Graham, the "voice of Protestantism," aided President Reagan in accomplishing the recognition of the Holy See. (Church & State, March, 1984, p. 7)
This is only part of the ominous picture. Time (October 15, 1979, p. 14) in reporting on "The Pope in America" - and picturing the "hand-clasp" in the White House - prefaced this report with the comments of Mary Ellen Bickel, a Boston personnel manager. She said concerning the Pope - "He makes me think that the world and the people in it are not as bad as they seem." This but illustrates the success of John Paul II as an "actor." What is the real John Paul II really like?
If there is one book, which casts light on the interworkings of the Vatican, and reveals the present Pope, it is In God's Name. Whether written with that objective in mind is immaterial; what it reveals is of consequence.
p 7 -- September 28, 1978, marked the 33rd day of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul I. After the morning audiences, Luciani had an appointment with Cardinal Baggio. He told him of the decision he was about to make concerning Cardinal Cody of Chicago. He was going to give him the opportunity to depart from office with "dignity" - the "opportunity to resign because of ill health" - but depart he must. (In God's Name, p. 208) That evening Luciani advised Cardinal Villot, his acting Secretary of State that Marcinkus was to be removed from his office as head of the Vatican Bank - not in a week, nor a month - "the following day." "A suitable post in Chicago would be found for him once the problem of Cardinal Cody had been resolved." (Ibid., p. 211)
The chapter on the thirty-three days of Luciani's Pontificate closes with this conclusion - "Pope John Paul I, was murdered sometime between 9:30 p.m. on September 28 and 4:30 a.m. on September 29, 1978." (Ibid., p. 216) Among the names listed as possibly involved in the Pope's murder are Cody, Marcinkus, and Sindona.
Then came the "actor" to the Papal throne. He chose the name of John Paul II. He was to act the part of his predecessor - the stage show - but what was the real Karol Wojtyla like?
"Marcinkus continued to function as head of the Vatican Bank and he declared that the Vatican did not and would not accept any responsibility for the $1.3 billion that had disappeared.
"The Roman Curia refused to accept judicial papers that the Italian government attempted to serve on Marcinkus and others in the Vatican Bank. Protocol must be observed, the Curia insisted, even when the theft of $1 billion is involved. The papers would have to be handed to the Italian Ambassador to the Vatican." (p. 321) Yallop adds - "In such a manner does Pope John Paul II preside over his Vatican Bank in May, 1984." He cites two more scandals and writes under the last cited incident involving Cardinal Ugo Poletti, Cardinal Vicar of Rome - "In such a manner does Pope John Paul II preside over the Roman Catholic Church in 1984." Yet "on stage" he makes the people feel that the world is not so bad - as it really is!
As for Cardinal Cody, when Pope John Paul II visited the United States in October, 1979, Cody met him at O'Hare International Airport and "thrust a small wooden box into his hands as a 'personal gift.' Inside the box was $50,000." (Ibid., p. 320) Earlier, Wojtyla had offered Cody a job in Rome, but he declined. With that gesture and response, the Pope indicated the Cody case was closed, so "intimated" Cody. (Ibid.) The money to Poland through Continental Illinois paid off, and the "personal" gift - that was just a bonus!
LETTERS WITH A MESSAGE -- "I consider your rendering the Remnant a great service in searching out and tabulating current events in the light of present-day fulfilling prophecy - which is, to me, of utmost importance. Like a print developing from the negative are events happening since the 1967 event which came on time from the undeveloped and dormant prophecy of Luke 21:24, taken from the mouth of our Lord. The disciples missed that salient point but, praise God, the Holy Spirit raised up Luke to record it in his synopsis so that the Remnant may be enriched in knowledge and strengthened in faith by this prophecy.
"I read with great interest your Thought Paper for August, just received, God bless you, brother." - California
"Your copies of the Pope's letters were quite startling, as he quotes Isa. 2:3. In the light of Daniel 11:45, what would James White say if he could see this?" - Maine --- (1984 Oct) --- END --- TOP
1984 Nov -- XVII -- 11(84) -- THE ROAD FORKS THRICE -- At Every Crisis There Are Three Options -- This is a borrowed title. The one from whom it has been borrowed will recognize it. While it was used involving a different subject, than it is being used in this Thought Paper, its basic truth and challenge has too often been overlooked. Very often the "narrow" way lies between two "broad" ways, both of which lead to destruction. To find the "narrow" way at a time of crisis is very difficult, because it is so "narrow" and the gate so "strait."
The first major crisis which faced the Second Advent Movement came on the morning of October 23, 1844. Prior to the agreement on the date, October 22, 1844, as the date for the culmination of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, and the return of Jesus, William Miller had written of his conclusion in 1818: "Reckoning all these prophetic periods [Seven times, 2300 Days; 1335 Days] from the several dates assigned by the best chronologers for the events from which they should evidently be reckoned, they would all terminate, about A.D. 1843. I was thus brought, in 1818, at the close of my two years' study of the Scriptures, to the solemn conclusion, that in about twenty-five years from that time all the affairs of our present state would be wound up." (Memoirs of William Miller, p. 76)
The time of the coming of Christ - "about the year 1843" - was considered too general by some who embraced Miller's views. So as the year, 1843, approached, Miller wrote out his 16 point view of the second coming of Christ. The final point read: "I believe that the time can be shown by all who desire to understand and to be ready for His coming. And I am fully convinced that some time between March 21st, 1843, and March 21st, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of computation of time, Christ will come,..." (Ibid., p. 172)
When March 21, 1844, came and passed, the believers in the Second Advent experienced their first disappointment. Out of this disappointment rose "The Seventh Month Movement." While Miller himself had called attention to the significance of the seventh month in Jewish ritual law in an article for the Signs of the Times, May 17, 1843, he did not embrace the tenth day of the seventh month date for the return of Jesus until a few weeks prior to October 22, 1844. The failure of Christ to return on that date produced the Great Disappointment.
Before the disappointed believers the road forked thrice. They could denounce their faith in the prophecies, and declare it all a deception. This fork many took.
p 2 -- They could continue to set dates for the return of Christ. This fork others took. Or, they could honestly sit down and seek where the problem lay, and where the mistake had been made. This was the "narrow" way - a few found it!
William Miller's first response to the Great Disappointment came on November 10, 1844, in a letter to Joshua Himes. In it he wrote: "Even to this day, my opposers have not been able to show where I have departed from any rule laid down by our standard writers of the Protestant faith. I have only interpreted Scripture in accordance with their rules, as I honestly believed. And not one honest man, who understands this question, will deny this assertion of mine." (Life of Miller, p.301)
Wherein then had an error been made?
Following the Great Disappointment, three men in the Canandaigua area of New York state spent the winter of 1844-45 in the study of the Scriptures in regard to the Sanctuary which they perceived to be "the heart of the typical system." The joint conclusions of Hiram Edson, Dr. Franklin B. Hahn, and 0. R. T. Crosier were first published in articles by Crosier in the Day-Dawn, which he edited; and then, more fully in the Day-Star, issued in Cincinnati, Ohio. These studies were based on the type and antitype principles of Biblical interpretation. "The initial Day-Dawn presentation came into the hands of Joseph Bates, James White, and various other Eastern Adventists, and many readily accepted the position set forth. (SDA Encyclopedia, p. 365) From this developed over a period of time, the Seventh-day Adventist teaching on the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment.
On October 27 1979, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was brought to another crisis. On that date, Dr. Desmond Ford at a meeting of the AAF on the campus of Pacific Union College presented a paper in which he took issue with basic theological assumptions held by the Church in regard to the Investigative Judgment. Here again the road forks thrice. We can throw out the whole of our sanctuary teaching, including 1844, and the final atonement of Christ in the Heavenly sanctuary. Many have taken this fork. On the other hand, we can take the position that our teaching on the sanctuary cannot be justified based on the plain Word of God, and that since the Writings of Ellen G. White constitute a reinterpretation of Scripture, we can use her Writings to sustain our basic concepts in regard to the Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment. Some - in fact, many perhaps unwittingly - are taking this fork. Dr. Raymond F. Cottrell, former Associate Editor of the Review set for this position in Spectrum (Vol. 10, #4, p. 20), and in a presentation at a meeting in Loma Linda, February, 1980. While many professing to adhere to "historic" Adventism eschew this conclusion, they in reality hold to this "fork of the road" because they base their position on the Writings only, being unable otherwise to answer Ford's arguments. This leaves only the "strait" gate and "narrow" way left for consideration.
Because Ellen G. White stated the Lord showed her "in a vision, ... that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the sanctuary &c" (Word to the "Little Flock". p. 12), we have given to Crosier's article the status of infallibility, and have not bothered to check what Crosier wrote with the Bible. First it must be observed that the endorsement specifically stated that the true light concerned "the cleansing of the sanctuary" or the ministry in the second apartment. On this point Crosier called the second apartment ministry "The National Atonement" in contrast to the daily services which he noted as "the individual atonement." This means simply that the Day of Atonement involved judgment of a corporate nature. Little attention has been given to this facet of the judgment scene. But this is why in the book of Daniel, the judgment could be pictured as involving "the little horn" - a corporate body. (Dan. 7:26) Thus in the Third Angel's Message, the "loud voice" is heard declaring that if any man (singular) worships the "beast" - in other words, corporately involves himself with the beast shall suffer the final plagues of God's wrath. (Rev. 14:9) Further, this gives light to the fact that "in the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed." (8T:247)
p 3 -- Secondly, Crosier wrote - speaking of the daily services on behalf of the individual - "Then, the victim being presented and slain, the priest that was anointed took some of the blood into the Holy, and with his finger sprinkled it before the vail of the Sanctuary and put some of it upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense." (Advent Review, September, 1850, p. 42)From the references cited, it would seem that Crosier and his colleagues assumed that what was done with the blood when the High Priest caused the Congregation to sin, and when they sinned as a corporate body was the same for the ruler and the common person. This simply was not true.
The Law of the Sin Offering for the common person was that the officiating priest ate part of the victim thus transferring the sin to himself. (See Lev. 6:24-26, and the violation noted in Lev. 10:16-17) Further "the priest that is anointed" did not minister the individual atonement where the ruler or the common person was involved. (Lev. 4:25, 30)
The blood of the sin offering was not taken at all times into the sanctuary. In fact most of the time it was not. A transaction - forgiveness - resulted from an atonement through the ministry of a priest, and took place as far at the individual was concerned at the Altar of Burnt offering. (Lev. 4:31) This simple correction in our understanding of the sanctuary types would have saved us much agony which has resulted from the crisis we are now in. But crises can be therapeutic if we will but allow them to be so - and when we are willing to recognize that we have three alternatives, and not just two. The road forks thrice.
What does the correction of the Crosier mistake mean to me as an individual? When I see in the One who hung upon the Cross, my "Sin Offering" who partook of my fallen nature, and I accept Him, the promise is mine - "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (Greek, krisis = judgment); but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24) I can face the judgment triumphantly, and expectantly. The assurance is mine that if I overcome - "by the blood of the Lamb," the word of my testimony,and love I not my life "unto death" (Rev. 12: 11) - Jesus "will not blot out [my] name out of the book of life, but [He] will confess [my] name before [His] Father and before [my] angels." (Rev. 3:5)
What about the record of my deeds? What are they anyway? My sins - these are fit only to be cast into the depths of the sea, and to be remembered no more. (Jer. 31:34) My righteousnesses - they are but as filthy rags. (Isa. 64:6) Why do I need them, when Jesus will clothe me "in white raiment."The counsel given at the time of the Holy Flesh Movement is very apropos. Ellen G. White wrote - "We are not to be anxious about what Christ and God think of us, but what God thinks of Christ, our Substitute. Ye are accepted in the Beloved. The Lord shows, to the repenting, believing one, that Christ accepts the surrender of the soul, to be moulded and fashioned after His own likeness." (SM, bk ii, p. 33)
The issue becomes very simple. It is not the record of my deeds that should concern me in the Judgment, but my relationship to Jesus Christ which must first begin at the Altar of Burnt Offering -the Cross - where they are forgiven. Once that is cared for, then in the Great Day of Atonement, I stand in a corporate relationship as a member of the Son's house. (Heb. 3:6) He carries me through. Even as the individual who brought his sin-offering in the typical service placed his whole weight upon the animal as he laid his hands in confession, so I place my whole and sole dependence upon Jesus, my great High Priest. I believe the Father - the One who sent Jesus - that the provision made is able to save to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25) What is the sanctuary all about anyway? It is the revelation of the way God has chosen to save sinners. The sinner comes daily to the Altar of Burnt Offering to find forgiveness; he afflicts his soul outside the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement while the High Priest accomplishes the cleansing.
The narrow way between choosing to jettison our sanctuary doctrine, and the slavish adherence to the fallible work of Crosier begins at the gate of faith - even faith in Jesus, our Substitute and High Priest. The road forks thrice!
p 4 -- As if one crisis in a generation wasn't enough, immediately following on the "heels" of the attack on our Sanctuary teaching, came the disclosures in regard to the Writings of Ellen G. White. This was spearheaded by a long-time minister of the Church, Elder Walter T. Rea.
Over this issue emotions run high, not that such charges as documented by Rea have not been made previously; but the disclosures reveal literary borrowing much more extensive than hitherto realized. Hidden and suppressed documents have now come to light which only serve to heighten the tension of the crisis. In discussing this issue, I want it clearly understood by the reader that I will merely set forth the evidence - documented - and then suggest what I believe the "narrow" road and "strait" gate to be.
First, the negative aspects of the crisis: (In listing these, I shall not use Rea's book - The White Lie- but rather material published in either church sponsored publications, or documentation released with the approval of the E. G. White Estate itself.)
1) More damaging and distressing than anything found in The White Lie was an article appearing in the Ministry (June, 1982, pp. 5-12). It was written by the associate editor, Warren H. Johns. There was reproduced a statement found in Ellen G. White's Diary #16 (Nov. 21, 1890), a statement obviously copied from F. W. Krumacher's book - Elijah the Tishbite - published in 1838. This statement appears - in polished literary form in Ministry of Healing, p. 479 (1909). But as it appeared in the Diary, it was prefaced with "My guide said ... " When I first read this article in the Ministry I was on my way West to speak at a "retreat" on the subject of the Spirit of Prophecy. I thought in preparation I had covered all the "bases" in what was to be a two-hour presentation squarely facing up to the issues involved. But I was totally unprepared for the revelation this article contained. After reading it, I learned by experience what Daniel 4:19 meant, where it states - "Daniel ... was astonied for one hour and his thoughts troubled him." The explanation given by Elder Johns were not answers. Needless to say, I did not mention this article in the presentation at the "retreat."
2) The issue of the "shut door" will not go away. But what is most critical is the explanation which the Secretary gives as to the conclusion which Ellen G. White drew from the vision given her. He writes - "Ellen misinterpreted this [her first] vision." (One Hundred and One Questions, p. 58) This opens a Pandora box. Most of the Writings are not the record of the actual vision, but rather how Ellen G. White perceived the meaning of the vision to be.
3) Recently, I received from a "highly placed source" the following - "It may surprise you to know that the White Estate has never attempted to say which of Mrs. White's writings are inspired and which are not." I was surprised! - Why? This was not the conclusion that I drew from a class which I took at Andrews University during the school year of 1964-65 in Prophetic Guidance and taught by Dr. A. L. White. But since this is now the position of the Estate, it speaks volumes.
Now to the positive aspects of the Writings of Ellen G . White: 1) A number of her early visions were given in public gatherings and eye witness accounts of these manifestations of the Spirit indicate that while in vision she did not breathe. (See J. N. Loughborough, The Prophetic Gift in the Gospel Church, p. 54) This accords with the experience of Daniel, while in vision. (Dan. 10:17) I found this to be one of the most convincing of evidences when presenting the subject of "The Gifts of the Spirit" in evangelism. However, the Syllabus prepared for the Prophetic Guidance Course (S-570) states - "Physical phenomena in connection with the visions is presented by some as a test. We hesitate to do so, for the Bible does not so specify it, and it may be counterfeited." (p. 10, Emphasis theirs) How such a physical manifestation as witnessed in the public visions of Ellen G. White could be counterfeited is difficult to perceive. J. N. Loughborough reports that in receiving the Dorchester Vision, Ellen G. White was "in vision all the afternoon until almost sunset, - over six hours, - the longest vision she has ever been known to have." (Loughborough, op. cit., p. 68) It was during this vision that a ten-pound Bible
p 5 -- was placed open upon her chest. When this was done, "she arose, upon her feet, and walked into the middle of the room, with the Bible open upon her left hand, and lifted as high as she could reach, with her eyes steadily looking upward, and not upon the Bible. She continued for a long time to turn over the leaves with her other hand, and place her finger upon certain passages, and correctly utter their words with a solemn voice." (Ibid., p. 68) Why the Bible holding is emphasized and the "non-breathing" aspect down-played is difficult to understand.
2) In 1948, a revised edition of - The Witness of Science - written by George K. Abbott, M.D., F.A.C.S., was published. Chapter One began with this testimony: "Forty years of medical and surgical practice, with much time for research work, has left me with some settled conclusions regarding the reliability of scientific statements made in the messages [of Ellen G. White] on health and medical practice. Many of these statements were published at a time when they were contrary to ideas generally accepted among physicians and could not have been proved by the reports of any research then extant." (p. 11)
3) In 1954, I took a course at an Extension Division of the University of Virginia while doing evangelism in the Potomac Conference. In the Education class there was a discussion of motivation and certain methods used. I was able to loan the Instructor a copy of the book - Education. When he returned it to me, I remarked that it had been published in 1903. His reply was simply "That person must have been a prophet."
It should be obvious there is a great gulf between the positive and negative aspects of the Writings of Ellen G. White. This is what makes it so difficult to find a solution. The "broadways" at the fork of the road also become painfully obvious. The total rejection of the manifestation of the prophetic gift through the ministry of Ellen G. White is one of the forks of the "broad" way. The other is to enter into a system of idolatry similar to the adulation bestowed by the Mormons on the writings of Joseph Smith and the Christian Scientists on the Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
This latter fork is not the position which Inspiration defined. Ellen G. White stated of her call in 1903: "From the year 1846 until the present time, I have received messages from the Lord, and have communicated them to His people. This is my work - to give to the people the light that God gives to me. I am commissioned to receive and communicate His messages. I am not to appear before the people as holding any other position than that of a messenger with a message." (Quoted in The Final Word, p. 10)
It must be remembered that she designated two others as "messengers" from the Lord to His people besides herself, prior to the time the above statement was written. Much has been made, and still is, of her comments in 1906 that her work involved much more than a prophet. She was not stating that her writings were to be considered as equal to, or superior to, the Bible, but rather the various lines of work in which she became involved were much more varied than could be perceived under the designation of the term, Prophet or Prophetess.
To take, therefore, the fork of the road which exalts her Writings either equal to, or above the Scriptures, is entering a "broad" way just as much as those who would totally reject all that she has written because of the plagiarism found as the basis of a number of the books. What then is the "narrow" way and the "strait" gate? The road forks thrice!
How did the early pioneers - those who saw her in vision; her husband who helped her edit what she wrote - view the "visions"? In The Review and Herald, published in Paris, Maine, April 21, 1851 James White wrote an editorial on "The Gifts in the Gospel Church." He used as Biblical references, Ephesians 4:11-14, and I Cor. 12:28. The article is too long to reproduce in its entirety, but several key paragraphs need to be considered: "It is universally admitted that a portion of the gifts exist in the church at this day, such as ' the word of wisdom,' and ' the word of knowledge,' and no one denies that ' pastors' and ' teachers' were to be in the church until its perfection. Then if a portion of the gifts were to remain
p 6 -- in the church, why not all of them remain? Why should the professed church of Christ pick out from that catalogue of gifts, so freely bestowed by the Great Head of the church, those that suit them best, and trample the others in the dust? It is sometimes asserted, by those who oppose the operations of the Spirit of God, that the gifts were designated for the apostles alone: but if this is true, then the church of Christ has been destitute of ' the word of wisdom,' ' the word of knowledge,' and the gift of ' faith' for about 1800 years, and those who have professed to be ' teachers' and ' pastors' have assumed a calling which ceased to exist at the death of the apostles. It is therefore very evident that all the gifts run parallel with each other, none of them ending before the rest, and that they were to extend quite through the gospel age....
"The gifts of the Spirit should all have their proper places. The Bible is an everlasting rock. It is our rule of faith and practice. In it the man of God is ' thoroughly furnished unto all good works.' If every member of the church of Christ was holy, harmless, and separate from sinners, and searched the Holy Scriptures diligently and with much prayer for duty, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, we think, they would be able to learn their whole duty in 'all good works.' Thus ' the man of God may be perfect.' But as the reverse exists, and ever has existed, God in much mercy has pitied the weakness of His people, and has set the gifts in the gospel church to correct our errors, and to lead us to His Living Word. Paul says that they are for the ' perfecting of the saints,' ' till we all come in, the unity of the faith.' The extreme necessity of the church in its imperfect state is God's opportunity to manifest the gifts of the Spirit.
"Every Christian is therefore duty bound to take the Bible as a perfect rule of faith and duty. He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for his whole duty. He is not at liberty to turn from them to learn his duty through any of the gifts. We say that the very moment he does, he places the gifts in the wrong place, and takes an extremely dangerous position. The Word should be in front, and the eye of the church should be placed upon it, as the rule to walk by, and the fountain of wisdom, from which to learn duty in ' all good works.' But if a portion of the church err from the truths of the Bible, and become weak, and sickly, and the flock become scattered, so that it seems necessary for God to employ the gifts of the Spirit to correct, revive and heal the erring, we should let Him work. Yea more, we should pray for Him to work and plead earnestly that He would work by the Spirit's power, and bring the scattered sheep to His fold. Praise the Lord, He will work. Amen."
With the writing of that "Amen," the whole question should have been closed then, and it should close it for us now. The "strait" gate and the "narrow" way is to take the Writings written on the basis of direct revelation as "messages" from the Lord "to revive and heal the erring;" but at no time are we at liberty to place the gift in the wrong place - in the place of the Bible, or equal to it, for the Bible alone is "the perfect rule of faith and practice."
This concept of the relationship between the Holy Bible and the Writings, our spiritual forefathers wrote into their first Statement of Beliefs. The statement read - "III. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of His will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice." In the article of belief on "Spiritual Gifts," these pioneers reiterated that "these gifts are not designated to supercede, or to take the place of the Bible." This was the position in all denominational Statements from 1872 through 1914.
Can we be honest with ourselves? Has it not been the emphasis of the "broad" road to the right, that has produced the counter reaction of the "broad" road to the left? But to accept the "strait" gate - even though we know what it is - is becoming more and more difficult, and few there be who are really willing to walk through it, down the "narrow" way.
There is one more area - a continuing crisis - which also has a road that forks thrice. It is the crisis of 1888 which
p 7 -- has not as yet been resolved. Some would hold that the messages given by Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner "caused untold harm to the Adventist Church" squarely in face of the fact that Ellen G. White declared these men to be "messengers of God's righteousness" giving "just what the people needed." (TM, pp. 96, 95) See WWN (XVII-6) - "Was Waggoner Wrong in 1888?"
The issue is simple - and I do mean simple - is a man saved by grace alone, or is he saved by his faith and works? We make it something hard because of our guilt complex over our sins, and our refusal to take by faith the release from that guilt so freely offered by God. Paul wrote - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph., 2:8-9) Paul also has asked - "Do we then make void the law through faith?" To this he answers - "God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Rom. 3:31)
There are those who read this statement by Paul on how salvation is obtained, and who open their hearts to receive this blessed gift. But into their ear, the enemy whispers: "Are you sure that nothing you can do will merit the favor of God? Don't you think you ought to add a few of your own good works just to be sure? They are righteous acts, so it can not do any harm." Satan thus nudges a person through the wide gate of self satisfaction in human accomplishment.
However, if the person should resist this suggestion of the enemy and cling by faith to the gift of God, knowing that in his hand there is nothing he can bring to merit the law's demand, Satan has another suggestion to whisper: "You know you are saved; you have accepted the free grace of God, so you have perfect liberty to do what you wish, because has not God given His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways?" And if the person listens to the presumptive suggestion of Satan, he is nudged down the fork to the left which likewise leads to destruction.
Well has it been observed - "We have found in our experience that if Satan cannot keep souls bound in the ice of indifference, he will try to push them into the fire of fanaticism,"(5T:644) So whatever the issue, the road forks thrice.
The "broad" way usually has two gates to the "narrow" way's one. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." (Luke 13:24) The blind
Laodicean cannot discern the narrow path, and he must rely on the sound he hears. It is not said that the Laodicean is deaf - only blind - and because of this, his problem is the discernment of voice. It is whose "voice" we hear - the voice of Jesus, standing, calling to come down the "narrow" way, or the babel of sound from the "broad" ways! -- (1984 Nov) --- End --- TOP
1984 Dec -- XVII-- 12(84) -- WILSON REFUSES TO ACT -- Americans United File Complaint in Federal Court -- We received a letter dated August 17, 1984, from the Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. In this letter, Dr. Robert L. Maddox told of the attempts by the organization to "persuade the Administration and the Congress not to appoint an Ambassador
to the Roman Catholic Church." They wrote letters, talked to the White House staff, joined with major religious bodies in protest, and testified before Congressional committees. But nothing availed.
The letter continues: "The President, the State Department and a majority of the Congress refused to recognize this damage to the U.S. Constitution and its principle of church-state separation. Operating from a short-sighted view of history and a cynical desire to gain Roman Catholic votes, our leaders plunged ahead with this million-dollar-a-year appointment."
Americans United thus faced no alternative except go to court. They announced in the letter that "on Wednesday, September 19, 1984, we will file our case in the US District Court in Philadelphia, challenging the Government's right to send an Ambassador to the Roman Catholic Church." They would contend this appointment was (1) "a violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution;" (2) It "gives special preference to one religious group over all others;" (3) It "involves the US government in the internal affairs of a church;" and (4) it "uses approximately a million dollars a year of tax money to fund that impermissible involvement."
To those who are following closely the events of history as the scroll of Bible prophecy unfolds will watch with deep interest the outcome of this Civil Suit. The American government as set forth in the Constitution is composed of three branches - the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Already the Executive has acted in the appointment of Mr. William A. Wilson as the Ambassador to the Holy See. The Senate acted in confirming the appointment, and the House of Representatives responded by initiating the necessary legislation to fund the appointment. The Judicial thus remains as the only branch of the government which has not declared itself in the matter. The outcome of this suit will be crucial.
In the light of this crucially important suit, we are reminded that "it is at the time of national apostasy, when, acting on the policy of Satan, the rulers [plural] of the land will rank[Webster - row or series] themselves on the side of the man of sin - it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the
p 2 -- signal for national ruin." (GC Bulletin, Vol. 4, #19, p. 259, April 13, 1891) Already we have witnessed "the handclasp" when on October 6, 1979, then President Jimmy Carter welcomed Pope John Paul II into the White House, "the symbolic home of all" the American people with the words - "On behalf of every American of every faith, I also welcome you into our nation's heart." (RNS, Oct. 8, 1979) It was on this occasion that the Pope, following the reception at which the three branches of the United States government were represented, surprised the assembled dignitaries by saying - "the pope wants to bless you --- with the permission of the president of the United States" - and did so. (Ibid.) This suit will give further evidence in the ranking of "the rulers" of this land on the side of the man of sin.
In the letter of August 17, there was also another very interesting paragraph. It read: "Religious leaders and lay citizens from all walks of life from across the nation join us in this legal outcry. Methodists, Baptists, Unitarians, Humanists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Jews, members of the Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ and many others have already signed on. As a matter of fact, nothing in recent history has so galvanized the American religious community like the nearly unanimous opposition to the Vatican appointment. In addition, Masons, educators, civic activists and independent citizens of many persuasions are enthusiastically lending their names and influence to the case."
As I read this paragraph, I observed the same thing you have observed as you have read it. The name of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is missing. By knowing the deep involvement of Seventh-day Adventists with Americans United from its very inception, one begins to wonder what happened that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a part of the suit. (The lawyer who filed the Complaint in Federal Court for Americans United is an Adventist from Berrien Springs, Michigan.) Therefore, on September 9, we wrote to Dr. Robert L. Maddox, the Executive Director, of Americans United, a letter which read in part: "I read with interest the form letter dated August 17, 1984. However, I do have a question. You listed on page 3, various churches and other groups who have responded in giving at least moral support to your endeavor.
"I failed to see listed the name of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. What are their plans in regard to this action on your part? Will they file a brief as a 'friend of the court' or will they join you all direct in your suit?"
To this letter, Dr. Maddox responded: "President Wilson declined to join in the case either as a plaintiff or as a friend of the court. I have not talked with Elder Wilson personally but his staff told me he had declined to participate after careful consideration. I am sending him a copy of your letter and of my reply."
I also asked a friend to write to Elder Roland R. Hegstad, Editor of Liberty, to ascertain why the Church has not joined in this suit. To this date, now more than two months, this friend has received no response - not even an acknowledgment! One would hope that sufficient letters will be sent to Elder Wilson to cause him to come out into the open as to why he has refused to act in joining in this case. (Perhaps if enough letters are sent, Elder Patzer will have to prepare another "form" letter explaining this position of "Caiaphas" as was done in response to "The Crucifixion in Hungary.")
In the meantime, until an answer coming either by letter, or in the pages of the Adventist Review, we will give to our readers information, concerning the attitude of the church's leadership to the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings. This present position could have had a part in Elder Wilson's, "careful consideration."
In another Federal case which had been filed in the U.S. District Court for the northern district of California, Wilson was involved as a member of the hierarchy, for the suit was "by the United States against the Seventh-day Adventist Church," as stated by the legal counsel for the Church. The government placed in the
p 3 -- record an affidavit by Lorna Tobler, one of the "Intervenors" in the case. In this sworn statement, Mrs. Tobler, wife of an Adventist minister, declared: "I have frequently heard the term ' hierarchy' used among Adventists when reference is made to the Roman Catholic system, of which I have always been taught that Adventists strongly disapprove. I have never heard the term ' hierarchy' used to describe Adventist ministers as is done in the defendants' brief (OBE pp. 14,44, 97), and I find it strange and contradictory to all I have ever learned in Adventist schools and churches. (Tobler AE 114, p. 39, lines 4-11)" 
[The number in brackets, is the page number, where the quotation can be found in Excerpts - Legal Briefs: EEOC vs PPPA. This document can be procured; See Order Form]
To Mrs. Tobler's testimony, the Church's Counsel - including Boardman Noland, a Seventh-day Adventist lawyer involved in the case - replied: "In several ways this illustrates the dangers incurred by an individual church member, who presumes to deny the authority of the duly constituted officials and governing bodies of the Church. In the first place, it is true that for a period in its history, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had an aversion to Roman Catholicism and especially to the papal form of church government -- an aversion shared by virtually all Protestant denominations.... While, however, Adventist doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express, as Mrs. Tobler has done, an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such." 
You will observe that this Brief on behalf of the Church does not say "an aversion to Roman Catholics" - but - "an aversion to Roman Catholicism." You will also note that the only teaching of Roman Catholicism still held as contrary to Adventist doctrine is church government by one man. To the rest of the teaching there is no aversion. Now what is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church relative to an exchange of diplomatic representation with the nations of earth?
Archbishop Pio Laghi, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in the United States (Ambassador of the Vatican to the USA) in an address given at The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., on April 6, 1984, quoted from Jesuit R. A. Graham's book, Vatican Diplomacy. From it he read: "Papal Diplomacy rests essentially upon the spiritual sovereignty of the Holy See and not upon dominion over a few acres in the heart of Rome." (p. 15)
On this statement, Laghi commented: "It is, therefore, the Pope's religious authority which confers upon him the classical right of legation, a diplomatic standing in the world. Those who interpret Papal Diplomacy as emanating from the Pope's temporal sovereignty are failing to understand the true nature of the mission of the Holy See." (Quoted in Complaintfiled in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on behalf of Americans United)
Since the Seventh-day Adventist Church is on record in Federal Court as indicating it is no longer good Seventh-day Adventism to have "an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such," one can sense the difficulty Elder Wilson faced should the Church have joined in the case, even as a friend of the court, and thus have declared the church's "aversion", to the Catholic position of "diplomatic standing in the world."
The picture is further complicated by the fact that in the same Brief submitted by the Church, her counsel declared in a footnote: "Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term ' hierarchy' was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the
p 4 -- historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." 
Another question remains. In the Complaint filed by Americans United in Federal Court on September 19, 1984, it is noted in hearings before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the nomination of William A. Wilson as Ambassador to the Holy See - "Statements of opposition were submitted on behalf of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists" - as well as other religious bodies, and who have now joined in the suit filed by Americans United. The question is simply this - What forces have been at work in the Curia on the Sligo to cause Elder Wilson "after careful consideration" to refuse to join in this Federal Court case in spite of the fact that the Church did present a statement of opposition before the Senate Committee? Was it fear of perjury? - or could there be, as has been alleged, Jesuit infiltration?
Besides these possibilities, there is another factor. In the Davenport scandal, there was inferred violation of Federal Law on the part of the some of the Trust Officers of the Conferences. The suggestion was even made in some quarters that some of these men could possibly face Federal prosecution. But this has not happened. Why? Was an agreement struck with the Government, and now to go to court against the Government would show a lack of appreciation for a favor done? These questions can only arise because the hierarchy has not been open with the laity, nor has the editor of the Adventist Review kept his promise to report to the Church vital facts, whether good or bad.
PATZER RESPONDS FOR WILSON -- "Form" Letter Used -- In reporting on "The Crucifixion in Hungary" (WWN, XVII-9), we suggested that "perhaps a deluge of letters to Elder Wilson might bring forth an 'official' explanation from some member of the Curia on the Sligo." Evidence is that letters were written in such a volume that a "form" letter was required to care for the inquiries. We have two such letters before us as we write this report. The only difference between them is that the first paragraph varies, the initials of secretary are different, and one contains a postscript.
However, it is this postscript which tells volumes of the attitude of the Curia on the Sligo toward the laity. It reads: "This is a personal letter to you and is not to be reproduced." How can a "form" letter, with merely a different first paragraph and written by a different secretary using electronic equipment with the same or a duplicate disk, be called, personal? Is deception the technique to make the lay person feel good? The laity are, not morons. The couple who received this "personal form letter" had written to Elder Wilson only about the Hungarian crucifixion. The reply included two paragraphs about an Elder John Carter of Australia. If one writes asking questions about one topic, and gets a reply on two topics - how well did the one receiving the letter read it? Then the response is noted as "personal"! It is dishonesty and "cover-up" of which this response is representative that has produced the credibility gap that presently exists in the minds of the laity regarding the hierarchy. When will such techniques end?
Since it is evident that the letter was really not "personal," we shall quote the paragraphs on Hungary only, with comments. (The paragraphs in quotes will be from the letter; our running comments will be in brackets.)
p 5 -- "Pertaining to the matter in Hungary, you have misinformation and neither the full story. Any situation that has developed over a long period of time is not resolved easily by mentioning just one phase of a situation by those who have not been involved. Neither the General Conference nor Elder Neal C. Wilson disfellowships anyone. The church where the individual holds his or her membership disfellowships."
[It is true that neither Elder Wilson nor the General Conference have the power to disfellowship individual church members, nor even to disassociate whole churches from conference fellowship. However, Elder Wilson in a sworn affidavit presented in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California stated: "In the Seventh-day Adventist denomination the term "church" has a very comprehensive and broad meaning. It is used to apply to the general organization and headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventists under the name of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." 
Applying this definition of the "church," Elder Wilson further swore under oath, and consider the implications of the underscored sentence: "In order to achieve the purposes and mission of the Church and to deal with personnel, it is absolutely essential for the Church to have organization and laws. It is also essential for the Church to establish its authority in the community of believers." 
I thought The Church is the "community of believers;" and when you seek to establish the "authority" of the hierarchy in that "community" you have Papalism. Thus for Wilson to come down on the side of the organization recognized by the government as the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hungary is to give approval to the disfellowshiping of "the community of believers" who declined to be a part of the equivalent of the National Council of Churches in Hungary.]
"The leadership of the Euro-Africa Division has been dealing with this situation in a patient, compassionate and Christian manner during the past ten or fifteen years. They have spent an enormous amount of time and have made many trips to Hungary. They have counseled closely with the General Conference leadership and we have been in complete accord in terms of the approach that should be made.
"It is a very complicated and tragic situation. No one can really understand this unless they have spent considerable time in Hungary itself talking with the various groups that have been involved. It was for this reason that Elder Neal Wilson and Elder G. R. Thompson, the General Conference Secretary, joined the Euro-Africa Division officers in spending twelve days in Hungary during January of 1984. They had extended conversations and discussions with all parties involved. They spent more than thirty hours with the breakaway, so-called Egervari Group. They did everything to encourage these brothers and sisters to return to the church. They declared based on the Church Manual and the procedures accepted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that hundreds of individuals had been disfellowshipped in an improper manner, and made it easy for these individuals to return to the church. They recommended that there be a union session to choose new leadership and this was accepted by the Hungarian Union and the Hungarian authorities.
"The GC and Division leadership indicated that all had made serious mistakes, both the Hungarian Union and those who had broken away and set up their own organization and church procedures. The breakaway group were in violation of the Church Manual in terms of hiring workers, using the tithe and offerings, ordaining ministers, and refusing to accept counsel from the General Conference and the Euro-Africa Division."
[ It should be observed that the charge against those who have been disfellowshipped is that they are "in violation of the Church Manual - not the Word of God, nor of moral integrity. The hierarchy indicate that this has been going on for a considerable period of time. Is not the "body" of Christ one? Why has not the Church as a whole been advised of this situation? Why has an explanation of the Hungarian crucifixion had to be pried out of the Curia?]
"The breakaway group insisted that the Hungarian Union remove itself as a member of the Council of Free Churches, and that
p 6 -- unless this was done they could have no part with the organized work of the church in Hungary. This in itself is a very complicated issue and the Division and the General Conference feel that this should happen at an appropriate time but should not become a condition for their return to the organized work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Hungarian family of conferences or unions.
"The breakaway group insisted that this was a condition and that the church in Hungary is in a state of apostasy as long as they are members of the Council of Free Churches. While we strongly advise against our organizations joining such councils it has never been a point upon which to declare apostasy. There is considerable history behind this, and the Division and General Conference did not feel impressed that some precipitous and hasty action in this connection was in the best interest of the church. The Lord will indicate the time and the way in which some of these matters should be properly adjusted."
[Do you really catch as you read the above two paragraphs, the force of what is written? - "It is never a point upon which to declare apostasy" for the church to unite with Babylon! God does! Have we gone so far into apostasy that we no longer perceive the meaning of what is written in the book of Revelation? Is this not further evidence of the Laodicean blindness of the hierarchy?]
"As a result of all this, the Division and the General Conference had no choice but to indicate that the breakaway group was in a state of rebellion and that they therefore could not be considered a part of the organized world church. We still love individuals and need to reach out to each one of them with a pastoral concern. We do not consider that the breakaway group is a part of the world family of organizations.
"Of the number you indicated in your letter, approximately one-half of them are still members of the Church. The other half were disfellowshipped over a period of ten or fifteen years and have organized themselves independently. The General Conference leadership has taken the position not to recognize this self-appointed, independent organization that calls itself Seventh-day Adventists.
"We as a church go together in a united manner, standing for ' the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."'
[One simple final question to close this sad, sad reply: - Does "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" include union with Babylon? Then just one more question: - Can one imagine Elijah encouraging the 7000 to join the National Council of the Prophets of Baal and the Grove? But one can, Caiaphas doing it!]
SUMMARY REPORT- 1 -- From time to time during the progress of the "Class Action" suit filed by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State on September 19, 1984, in Federal District Court at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we will be giving either Summary Reports, or "Direct Quote" reports. This one, and those to follow in the next two months will cover the Complaint filed. All direct quotes in this Summary, unless otherwise noted will be from the Complaint. - Editor
The Plaintiffs -- The Plaintiffs, besides Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, are many and varied. Church groups - The American Baptist Church, Church of the Brethren, National Association of Evangelicals, National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Progressive National Baptist Convention - have joined the case. Pastors of local congregations of the Church of Christ, Reformed Church, Baptist General Association, Southern Baptist, and Seventh-day Adventist are also listed among the plaintiffs.
p 7 -- The individual Seventh-day Adventist ministers named are - Mitche1 A. Tyner, of Silver Spring, Maryland; Willis Adams of Lima, Ohio; Edwin E. G. Shafer of Frankfort, Kentucky; and Gordon W. Zutz of Henrietta, New York. Also among the plaintiffs is the Council on Religious and Civil Liberty located in Sacramento, California. "The directors and staff are lay members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."
It is also of interest to note that two Roman Catholic groups have joined the suit. The National Association of Laity is made up of 1300 Catholic Laypersons, which was established to advocate liberal causes within the Catholic Church and "to expedite the carrying out of Vatican II mandates." This group opposes government funding of parochial schools. Another Catholic group is the National Coalition of American Nuns dedicated to "speaking out on issues related to human rights and social justice."
A large number of individuals "have signed on" including educators, a Jewish Rabbi, an Episcopal Bishop, a former member of Congress, and others whose qualifications are listed as "citizens" and "voters of the United States."
One item of interest among the plaintiffs noted above is the appearance of the National Association of Evangelicals represented by Billy A. Melvin, Executive Secretary. The Chicago Sun Times had reported that when Dr. Billy Graham had been asked by William C!ark, former National Security Advisor to assess the reaction of Evangelicals to the appointment of an Ambassador to the Vatican, Mr. Melvin was among those listed as contacted by Graham. Graham had reported back that Evangelicals would present few problems "if the Vatican were recognized purely in a political way and without religious implications." (Church and State, March, 1984, p. 7) Apparently now, Mr. Melvin and the Association have had second thoughts.
The Defendants -- The Defendants in this Case are listed as (1) Ronald W. Reagan, President of the United States; (2) George P. Shultz , Secretary of State; (3) Donald T. Regan , Secretary of the Treasury; (4) William A. Wilson, Ambassador to the Holy See; and (5) The United States of America.
President Ronald Reagan becomes a defendant because "Under Article II section 2 of the Constitution, the President has been empowered to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint ambassadors and other public ministers. Under Article II, section 3 of the Constitution, the President is empowered to receive ambassadors and other public ministers."
While admitting the Constitutional authority of the President to appoint and receive ambassadors and ministers, the Plaintiffs will "claim that the President's authority is not unlimited in that the President of the United States has not, by Article II, been granted any authority to appoint ambassadors to a church."
Representing Americans United are Counselor at Law, Lee Boothby, a Seventh-day Adventist of Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Earl W. Trent, Jr., House Counsel for the American Baptist Church in USA. --- (1984 Dec) ---End---- TOP 2002
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