Reply to Bacchiocchi’s #86-89 Attack —1
by Vance Ferrell
Samuele Bacchiocchi has written a
direct attack against Ellen White’s character and the accuracy and
inspiration of her writings. He has placed it in a public newsletter on his
web site, which Advent believers around the world can read. By his own
claim, thousands have responded; the majority with hearty approval. His
objective is to reduce confidence in those writings.
present 28-page public rebuttal will immediately be placed on two of our
web sites which have very large international coverage and are regularly
viewed by thousands of Adventists.
will also be released in tract format.
Bacchiocchi had not flagrantly attacked the Spirit of Prophecy, this
analysis would not have been written. —vf
— PART ONE —
THE MAKING OF A JESUIT PRIEST
As early as 10 or 12, a boy is often
targeted for the priesthood. If he has an average intellect, he may be
steered toward a monastery; if above average, into the priesthood. But
those recognized as brilliant are placed in the Jesuit training program.
This program, briefly described in earlier tract studies by the present
author, requires years of careful training (The Jesuits: Their Origin,
Objectives, and Methods [MB–1], Trained to be a Secret Agent [MB–51], More
about Secret Agents [MB–52], and Still More about Secret Agents
There are several instructional
tracks. While many are trained for mission assignments, the most capable
ones are directed into special assignments in governmental positions. In
earlier centuries, they wormed their way into the courts of kings and
became confessors and counselors. Since the nineteenth century, they have
entered politics and governmental positions and helped to shape the affairs
Others have had their expenses paid
while they earned Ph.D. doctorates. Some are hired into secular
universities while others apply for positions in Protestant colleges and
Some of the agents are “converted” to
a Protestant denomination in their early 20s or, generally, by 25 at the
latest. They attend Protestant colleges and seminaries, do a brief stint in
pastoral work or in a mission work, and then attend a secular university.
Once they have obtained doctorates, they are prepared to enter much higher
positions in the target denomination—especially in its colleges and
universities where future pastors, leaders, and theologians are trained.
In those situations in which a student
is ideally situated for a special assignment, he may undergo a briefer
Jesuit training program and is “converted” and baptized by the age of 15 to
17. Because his loyalties to Rome are solid, there are ways he will be able
to obtain additional Jesuit training later. A primary opportunity occurs
when he later takes his graduate and doctoral work at a secular university.
The selection of the outside
university is important. It depends on how many agents are already
implanted in that denomination.
If there are only a few, the church
may be so conservative that it refuses to send its men to outside
universities or hire graduates contaminated by such institutions.
If many agents have already been
implanted, the changeover in doctrines, standards, and educational training
is already well-underway; and there will be little difficulty. Some
churches are so riddled with agents that they are even willing to hire
teachers who obtained advanced training at Catholic universities. This is
increasingly taking place in our own denomination.
— PART TWO —
THE FORMATIVE YEARS OF BACCHIOCCHI
Samuele Bacchiocchi was born on July 1, 1938 in Rome,
Italy, and raised in that city. Most Adventists are baptized by the age of
12, or a little younger. There is something about that age; it is the time
that spiritually minded youth want to join the church and give their lives
In 1950, Samuele
turned 12. But we know that he was not baptized into the Adventist Church
until 1954, at about the age of 16. Perhaps he attended Adventist schools
before then. At any rate, somehow there was enough money for him to attend Newbold College, in England, and then Andrews
University in America. Here was an Italian who knew Latin and a remarkable
amount about Rome and the Catholic Church. By his own testimony, his
primary income for five years of advanced studies, after being baptized,
consisted of money from the sale of, what he calls, “Steps to Christ
booklets.” He must have sold a lot of booklets.
In 1964, at the age of 26, Samuele was hired as a worker and later sent to
Ethiopia as a foreign missionary.
— PART THREE —
THE LIFEWORK OF A JESUIT AGENT
A key point is the number of implanted
agents in a given denomination. The more there are, the easier it is for
them to sit on hiring committees—and bring in still more. They also protect
one another, when they make mistakes.
Because Jesuits have been trained to
take any disguise, do anything, or teach anything, they may even marry and
An agent has several important duties,
• Help bring in new agents.
• Protect existing agents.
• Obtain information that the Vatican
• Influence doctrines and standards.
• Urge tolerance of variant doctrines
• Help move the church toward
ecumenical relations with other churches and with Rome.
It is important that teachings be
homogenized, so the church will eventually enter more subservient relations
with the Mother Church.
It is important that church standards
be lowered. Long ages ago, Rome discovered that when the members enjoy
parades, carnivals, dramatic presentations, wine, and sports, the more
pliable they are toward the Church’s wishes.
Diluting the distinctive doctrines
helps confuse the members, so they do not know what they believe. Give the
impression that the distinctive teachings are something to be embarrassed
about and hidden.
Some agents receive special
assignments. They are so placed so that they can produce outstanding
accomplishments for Rome.
An example of a special assignment
occurred many years ago in China. Jesuit agents, posing as Catholic
missionaries, had found that they were not succeeding as well as they
liked. So they were assigned a daring task: They took the disguise of
Buddhist priests, taught Buddhist teachings, and were making rapid inroads
into the favor of the Chinese emperor. But, back home, the Vatican decided
that there was very real danger that their disguise might be penetrated. So
the assignment was suddenly canceled. That particular assignment was
recognized as leading to a dead end. (How would the Buddhist priests later get themselves—or anyone else—converted to Catholicism?)
The Church has found that it has
better success when a carefully placed Protestant agent makes a few
negative statements about the papacy. This totally eases suspicions, and he
is able to more efficiently carry on his work.
An outstanding example of this
occurred in England during the “Oxford Movement,” which extended from 1833
to 1845. Several agents, planted as professors in Oxford University, began
writing and mailing out short articles. Beginning in 1833, John H. Newman, a
leading Anglican minister, published his Tracts for the Times. Other
agents added to them. Initially, the papers urged a defense of the Church
of England as a divine institution. But gradually, they moved more and more
toward submission of the church to Rome. In 1841, Newman published his
famous Tract 90, which too clearly revealed his objective. It
aroused strong opposition from conservative churchmen. In 1845, Newman
(afterward rewarded with a cardinal’s hat) and several other churchmen
openly joined the Catholic Church. But the majority of the agents remained
in the Church of England, and their views continued to gain ground. In
1850, an incident (the Gorham case) resulted in more conversions to
Catholicism, including those of Manning and Wilberforce. Despite opposition
from many in government and the press, the movement continued to spread
until it ultimately diluted British Protestantism. The impact of the Oxford
Movement was so strong, that the Church of England remains deadened to this
So, although a Jesuit may not
necessarily speak in favor of Rome, he will work to eliminate confidence in
the denomination’s distinctive teachings and lower its standards.
A Jesuit agent is always brilliant. He
may know several languages. He flatters associates and superiors. He
expresses great loyalty to church leaders. He may defend some conservative
teachings, generally those that Rome is not concerned about. He will
generally hold liberal views about the faith and practice of the church.
He is always clever in what he does,
because he is in contact with Jesuit superiors who help him think through
his plans; they may even ghostwrite part or all of his articles and books.
His writings are able to express great subtlety, alternating between
assuring phrases of conservatism and liberal skepticism. Because of this
double-tongued ability, his true positions may be difficult to pin down.
Even in his retirement years, such an
agent, trusted and beloved for his years of work within the denomination,
is able to continue writing articles and preaching at churches and major
events. But, because he is no longer hampered by employment, he is able, in
his speaking and writing, to speak more openly and directly to the point.
— PART FOUR —
THE GREGORIAN UNIVERSITY
Romano (Roman College), as its founder Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
called it, began in 1551 in a rented house at 14 via Capitolina,
on the lower northern slope of that hill, where today the via d’ Aracoeli intersects the
via Margana; this was an area still rural at the
time and lying on the outskirts of the city, close to the Roman forum.
In order to counteract the effects of
Protestantism, Loyola recognized an urgent need for a training school for
secret agents which, upon graduation, could
penetrate the palaces of kings, the universities, and even the leadership
of Protestant churches. The plan was a daring one, but Ignatius himself
received careful instruction in the woods from an “angel.” With such help,
it is not surprising that Loyola’s teachings and methods were so devilish.
From that day in Rome in 1548, when he
first discussed the project with Diego Laynez,
one of his first converts, Ignatius had in mind a lengthy training program
that would transform an entering student into a polished instrument in the
hands of the Jesuit hierarchy.
Only the best professors would be the
instructors; each one a master in a specialized field. The first scholastic
year opened on February 23, 1551, with 60 students and 15 teachers. Hebrew
was added to the curriculum the following September.
In the autumn of 1553, just two years
after its founding, a course of higher studies was inaugurated. Foreign
languages were taught, enabling native Italians to speak English, for
example. They were taught secret codes and how to achieve desired
Pope Gregory VIII (lived 1502-1585;
reigned 1572-1585) was the first pope to fully recognize the terrific
possibilities of the new college. Anxious to determine the best way to
overthrow Protestantism in northern Europe, he discovered the solution.
“Gregory had been crowned only eight
months when he gave a commission to Peter Canisius
to visit the Catholic princes of Germany, Austria and Poland to get their
views on the best way of strengthening Catholicism in the northern countries.
The answer was unanimous: more educated priests and the endowment of the
German College. To the report, Canisius added his
own pleadings when he came to Rome in the spring of 1573.”—Philip Caraman, S.J., University of the Nations, p. 19.
On August 6 of that year, Gregory
instituted a lavish yearly endowment for the school. It has continued on
down to the present day. The various special agent schools (the German
School, English School, etc.) were combined, and the institution was later
named in his honor. For centuries, it has been the pope’s special
university for the training of outstanding priests and agents for special
That little school, the first Jesuit
training school in the world, grew
until it became the Pontifical Gregorian University (Pontificia
the leading spy indoctrination school of the Jesuits. Although dozens of
other Jesuit schools, on all levels, were later to be founded throughout
the world, the Gregoriana, as it is
affectionately known by its graduates, has retained its focus on training
undercover agents with the most brilliant intelligence; these agents were
later assigned to important positions throughout the world. Agents, already
implanted, would make sure they were quickly hired in predesignated
Nineteen of its graduates so
distinguished themselves that they were later canonized as saints by the
popes. Another 24 graduates received beatification, while 16 worked their
way up the ladder of Roman political intrigue until they attained the
office of pope.
— PART FIVE —
BACCHIOCCHI AT THE GREGORIANA
In the fall of 1969, Bacchiocchi
entered the halls of this, the oldest and most eminent, Jesuit university
in the world.
What would it be like to take a full
course of studies in the Gregoriana? Who alone
could go there? What kind of slavish subservience to the Jesuits and the
pope would be imprinted on their souls? The following quotations afford a
glimpse into this matter. They come from the book, University of the
Nations: The Story of the Gregorian University of Rome.
“It was a rule that all scholars had
to attend daily mass. They were to follow the priest devoutly
. . kneeling or standing at appropriate
times (p. 7).
“Ignatius also set great store by both
the formal and the regular weekly disputations held in the schoolrooms . . They became tests of endurance, memory and fast
thinking” (p. 8).
“Twelve months after its foundation,
he [Loyola] wrote to Peter Canisius in Vienna and
to the Jesuit superiors in Ingolstad and Louvain.
He pressed them to send to Rome youths between the ages of 16 and 22 or
even older, selected for their ability, good manners, sound health and
capacity to undertake an exacting course of studies. Canisius,
though sick, was the first to reply. He promptly pointed to the flaws he
saw in Ignatius’ plans: ‘It is extremely difficult,’ he wrote, ‘to persuade
the people of Austria to send their sons to Rome, for the conditions of
entrance are the kind no northerners will tolerate, especially the one that
requires students to bind themselves to the service of the Pope’ ” (p.
So you can see that the university
maintains a pretty rigorous program. How would you like to have to attend
mass every day? Would you want to kneel before Catholic priests? Would you
want to call them your spiritual “father”? When referring to the pope,
would you want to have to call him “the holy father”? Could you, as a
Seventh-day Adventist, remain a Christian and still do this for five years,
knowing all the time that it was blasphemous to take such a title, in
reference to a man, on your lips? Would you want to rigorously study
Catholic theology for years and be tested on your mastery of its
Even though designed for special
agents, the Gregorian University was also a Jesuit priest’s seminary. Here
is a description of another Catholic seminary, by a young man who attended
It will explain why even a casual
reader can quickly detect inconsistencies and errors within Bacchiocchi’s reasoning. His mind was damaged by years
spent in a Jesuit indoctrination center.
“When a boy enters a seminary, he
begins years of the most thorough and effective intellectual indoctrination
the world has ever known . . It ends . . with a mental
rigidity and acceptance of medieval superstitions and religious concepts as
archaic as those of the Buddhist monks upon the isolated, frozen mountains
of Tibet.”—Emmett McLoughlin, People’s Padre,
“We were to be taught according to the
form of scholastic philosophy, which had been developed by Thomas Aquinas on the basis of Aristotelianism.”—Ibid.,
“We had already spent six years in
intensive Roman Catholic mental discipline. We now thought we were mentally
free . . We did not suspect that we had been
already conditioned against non-conformism . . We
meditated on the sins of humanity and the ‘truths’ of the Church. We
attended daily mass, and we recited the scriptural quotations of the Divine
“This atmosphere prevented the
slightest deviation while we progressed through a ‘free’ philosophy and by
the light of our own ‘reason’ came to ‘irrefutable’ conclusions . . Our Roman Catholic textbooks set up straw men with
carefully chosen quotations and to our delight knocked them down and
confounded the heretic. In our minds we had mastered and refuted all modern
philosophy. We had studied contemporary religion and modern thought in the
same manner that a student in Moscow must study American democracy.”—Ibid.,
There are three levels of training
which a prospective agent undergoes, before he can graduate and be
entrusted with special penetration assignments within non-Catholic
organizations and denominations: Novice, Scholar, and finally Coadjutor.
Since Baachiocchi completed a full five-year
course at the oldest Jesuit training school, he would have achieved the Coadjutor
level. He would have memorized the 65 Propositions of the Jesuit
Order, and yielded his mind and soul to the five Underlying Beliefs:
(1) Obedience to one’s superior.
“Recognize in the superior, whoever he may be, the Lord Jesus, and in him
to offer, with the highest religious devotion, reverence, and obedience to
the divine majesty” (A.J. Newman, Manual of Church History, p. 377).
(2) “The end justifies the means.” The
ultimate outcome makes right whatever was needed to achieve it.
(3) The teaching of Probabilism. “An opinion is rendered probable [probably
correct], if it has in its favor one or two theologians of repute” (Newman,
(4) “The scheme of evading
responsibility for sinful and criminal conduct by the method of ‘directing
the intention’ . . In accordance with this, one
may commit murder without burdening his conscience, if in the act his
intention is directed to the vindication of his honor” or some other worthy
end” (Newman, p. 379).
(5) “Mental reservation.” He can by
word or gesture tell a lie, provided the word or clause that would make the
statement true is in his mind, though unspoken (Newman, p. 379).
We might also mention the strange
reasoning that highly trained Jesuits are able to apply to a passage in the
Bible—or even to the decree of a pope—and make it teach something totally
different than what the words obviously say. This is known as “casuistry.”
An example would be their later interpretation of the dogma of “papal
infallibility” (which Pope Pius IX pushed through Vatican Council I in
1870), applying it only to certain—but not all—official statements by the
popes. This strange twist was needed, in view of the well-known fact that, as Luther declared at Worms, the
popes have often contradicted one another and the councils (Great
At the Gregoriana,
Bacchiocchi specialized in theology and church history.
“For ten years we covered the History
of Christianity. All we knew of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
was it must be false because it attacked the Papacy. We never saw H.G.
Well’s Outline of History—but we were prepared to refute it. We knew
the historical argument for the primacy of Peter and swallowed it whole.”—Emmett
McLoughlin, People’s Padre, p. 23.
If you were to ask a graduate of the Gregoriana what he learned there, he would probably
tell you he was taught grammar, history, and doctrine. But there are some
other things he was taught that he would not mention.
That is understandable. The Gregorian
University was very careful that the uninitiated never know the peculiar
Jesuit reasoning and methods of operation that the students were drenched
in. Only recruits willing to become dedicated special agents were permitted
to enter its halls of learning.
But a special need, a special student,
and a special project made it possible for something new to occur in 1973.
The special need was the placement of
a man on the highest level in Adventist educational circles, in the school
where every future pastor and church leader would be required to receive
advance training. The special student was a young Italian Adventist, born
and raised in Rome, who, for some strange reason, wanted to study at the Gregoriana. (And even stranger, he believed that the
school—as closed to Protestants as is the sacred Buddhist Portola in
Tibet—would accept him.)
From that which followed, it would
appear that the project was twofold: Show Adventists everywhere that
closeness to Catholicism was not a problem. Show Protestants that they
needed to heighten the sacredness of Rome’s sacred Day of the Sun instead
of merely letting it be a day for churchgoing followed by recreation and
In order to intensify the spotlight of
interest on the future graduate, a seemingly unknown Adventist missionary
from Africa, he was to be the beneficiary of seven remarkable gifts from
the shrewdest political organization in the world—the Vatican, which never
does anything by happenstance:
• The first (and apparently only)
admission of a non-Catholic in the 422-year history (1551-1973) of the
Pontifical Gregorian University. For this purpose, the special approval of
the highest levels in the Jesuit Order would have to grant its approval.
For such a remarkable “first” to occur, the paperwork would also have to
pass across the desks of top echelons in the Vatican.
• The young Adventist would receive an
in-depth five (not four) year course of Jesuit instruction. All the
intricacies of the Order, needed in order to carry out his future
assignments, would be laid open before him.
• In order to make him a
Catholic-trained “specialist in early Sabbath-Sunday history,” it would be
arranged that the young man would present his doctoral thesis on who
changed the Bible Sabbath to Sunday and when it occurred. This would
generate favorable excitement throughout the Adventist denomination.
• Unlike most students, he would be
honored with the gift of a gold medal, by the reigning pope, for his
• For the first time in its entire
history, the Pontifical Gregorian University would publish a book by a
• The book would receive the Imprimatur
of Rome (“Imprimatur: Romae, die 16 Iuniit 1975, R.P. Hervé
Carrier, S.I., Rector Universitatis. Con approvazione del Vacariato di Roma, in data 17 giugno
1975”). “Imprimatur” means that everything within the book contains
orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine and is safe for a Catholic to read.
• The book received a two-page preface
by Vincenzo Monachino,
S.J., Chairman of the Church History Department, Pontifical Gregorian
University. More on what Monachino said in the
Samuele Bacchiocchi is the first and only Seventh-day
Adventist to personally receive not only a gold medal from the pope, a
complete training in the Jesuit headquarter’s
training school, but also a Jesuit imprimatur (meaning accurate,
doctrinally approved, and safe for Catholic readers).
It is the opinion of many that this
was a carefully crafted situation, dramatically staged to produce
ever-increasing levels of excitement within the Adventist Church. It was
done to firmly plant an agent strategically for an important work and give
him great influence. It is the belief of many that, in no way, was all this
done merely as an accidental happenstance. The Vatican in Rome is the most austutely political structure in the world. It does
nothing in a random manner.
Alberto Rivera, a former Jesuit agent,
explained both the inner workings and special objectives of this elaborate
network of intelligence gathering and doctrinal comprising:
“The first Protestant groups they [the
Jesuits] moved on were the 7th Day Adventists and the Full Gospel
Businessmen. Then into the Baptists, methodists,
Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. until they were all infiltrated, including
the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. All the seminaries, universities, and
colleges were next. The Jesuits directed Catholic Youth Action, Legion of
Mary, and Knights of Columbus who pulled it off. Now all these groups are
silent about Rome or claim that the Roman system is a Christian Church.
“They are winning through compromise!
Almost all Protestant pastors are afraid to speak out against Rome. If they
did, those planted in their churches would
attack them on command.”—Alberto Rivera, Alberto, Part 1 (1979), The Crusaders, Vol.
12, Chino, CA, Chick Publications, p. 28.
Here is how the graduate describes
himself today on one of his web sites:
“Dr. Bacchiocchi is the first
non-Catholic to have graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University in
Rome. There, in response to his Ph.D. dissertation, From Sabbath to
Sunday, he received a gold medal from Pope Paul VI for academic
distinction. He has also earned degrees in the USA and has served as a
missionary in Ethiopia. He is author of numerous articles and twelve books,
and has recently retired from his role as professor of church history and
theology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The topic of
Dr. Bacchiocchi’s dissertation at the Pontifical
Gregorian University was the history of Jewish Sabbath-keeping and its
evolution into Christian Sunday-keeping” [emphasis ours].
was a mecca for Bacchiocchi. He was able to make
close friendships with leading Jesuits from throughout the world. He was
also told of leading Protestants who,
like himself, had strange close friendships with Rome.
Here at the Gregoriana
he could obtain much instruction that he had missed earlier in his life.
Very likely, those were happy years for Samuele,
associating with so many close friends that he made among priests, bishops,
cardinals, and Catholic leaders. The Gregoriana
is a frequent stopover for high-ranking church leaders from all over the
world field. And, I can assure you, few of those leaders had, themselves,
received a gold medal from the pope.
When John F. Kennedy became U.S.
president, it changed Catholicism in America. Henceforth, Roman Catholics were
considered safe to have around. So it has been at Andrews since 1977, and
in hundreds of Adventist meetings, as Bacchiocchi has paraded in his
pontifical vestments, declaring himself to be an
What does this strange experience and
testimony of Alberto Rivera tell us?
• The penetration of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church is an extremely important objective for Rome.
• By 1977, the Adventist Church had
enough implanted Jesuit agents, that Rome knew
Bacchiocchi would be snapped up by Andrews as soon as he graduated. Yet,
frankly, he was not qualified for the position. A five-year Jesuit trainee
would be automatically disqualified for any level of employment in our
church, prior to 1950.
• Bacchiocchi could travel around and
use his Gregorian University background to get Adventists comfortable with
Catholicism and help propel the church further down the road toward it.
• Because of contacts he was told
about at Rome, Bacchiocchi would be able to quickly establish extensive
contacts with leading implants in a variety of churches and religious
— PART SIX —
STATING THE OBJECTIVE OF THE BOOK
The preface to Bacchiocchi’s
thesis, as published in his book, From Sabbath to Sunday, is very
As mentioned earlier, the book
received a two-page preface by Vincenzo Monachino, S.J., Chairman of
the Church History Department at the Pontifical Gregorian University. The
very first reason, given by the preface, for the thesis and its Jesuit
publication, was this:
“The ever-increasing non-observance of
the Lord’s Day . . demands
a serious re-examination of the significance of Sunday for the Christian
today.”—From Sabbath to Sunday, p. 7.
In other words, this book will help Sundaykeepers to better value the sacredness of Sunday!
—That objective is in full agreement with the aims of the papacy, as given
in chapter 35 of Great Controversy. It is only as Protestants
value Sunday sacred, that they can be induced to join with Catholic leaders
in coercing the U.S. Congress into enacting a National Sunday Law!
The second stated reason, as given by Monachino, was this:
“The many studies on this topic,
though excellent, have not given a fully satisfactory answer because of the
lack of consideration of some of those factors which in the Church of the
first centuries contributed to the concrete genesis and development of a
day of worship different from the Jewish Sabbath.”—Ibid. (italics
There was a need to clarify that the
papacy was responsible for a very early change. This concept, that the pope
changed the Sabbath to Sunday as early as the second century and required
all other Christian churches to yield on this point, is, for them, an
important point. Yet it is a false claim.
This error exalts Roman primacy as
bearing sway over the other churches much earlier than that which actually
occurred. It moves the changeover to Sundaykeeping
(by this I mean not merely at Rome but in all the Christian churches of the
empire) back over three centuries from when it actually began to take hold
(the fifth century, a century after Constantine).
This error is a key point of Bacchiocchi’s, as of August 2002 in his Endtimes Issues, #87. Twenty-three years
after leaving Rome, he is still faithfully teaching what he was there told
to teach. We shall discuss it later in this present study. In maintaining
it, he even dares to boldly charge that Great Controversy is wrong
when it tells the truth about when the changeover occurred. More on this
After repeatedly praising the
“rigorous scientific method and the vast horizon with which it [the book]
has been conceived and executed,” and the author’s “singular ability to
encompass various fields in order to capture those aspects and elements
related to the theme under investigation,” Monachino
returns once again to his first and key point:
“Conscious that the history of
salvation knows not fractures but continuity, he finds in the rediscovery
of the religious values of the Biblical Sabbath, a help to restore to the
Lord’s Day its ancient sacred character . . [The
believers should] spend Sunday not in outings or watching shows, but rather
to sanctify it by assisting at the eucharistic
celebration and by doing acts of mercy.”—Ibid., p. 8.
In other words, just as the Bible
Sabbath had religious values in Bible times, so now the Lord’s Day, its
successor for Christians, should be guarded just as sacredly. And by so
doing, the “fractures” will be eliminated and we will once again be brought
The 374-page book would, in the words
of Bacchiocchi (quoted more fully shortly), be the “evolution” of “Jewish
Sabbath-keeping” into “Christian Sunday-keeping.” “Evolution” is a
well-known secular word, denoting progress from something inferior to
something better. In this instance, something Jewish to something
Christian. Are you beginning to catch on to the Bacchiocchi objective?
— PART SEVEN —
BACCHIOCCHI AT ANDREWS
On May 18, 1977, our church leaders,
through Bert B. Beach, gave a gold medal to Pope Paul VI as an expression
of our deepest appreciation for his beneficent services to mankind. The
next month, Samuele Bacchiocchi graduated from
their papal spy school. On June 29 of that same month, Monachino
dated his preface to Bacchiocchi’s book.
As soon as Bacchiocchi graduated from
the Pontifical Gregorian University, he was immediately hired by Andrews
University, so he could teach our future ministers and church leaders for
years to come. Since about 1960, all future ministers were required to take
four quarters (12 months) of classes at the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary,
located on the Andrews University campus.
While at the Gregoriana,
Bacchiocchi had specialized in theology and church history. This enabled him to teach in two separate departments at
Andrews. He would, for over twenty years, have an outstanding opportunity
to influence the students under him in many subjects.
We already have an idea what his
theology was like; for he had learned so much of it at Pope Gregory’s
But what were his concepts of church
history like? I obtained an inkling of that in late 1980. Only a few months
of Waymarks had been mailed out,
when I received a phone call from a friend in Washington State. He had
called Bacchiocchi about something he wrote or said on a tape, questioning
why Bacchiocchi had implied that there were portions of Great
Controversy which were not correct.
“Vance,” my friend said, “Bacchiocchi
is fast thinking and talks like a machine gun. He said to me in an
irritated tone, ‘If that little old woman was here, I’d teach her a thing
or two!’ He seemed very upset about Ellen White and Great Controversy.”
At about the same time, I acquired a
copy of Bacchiocchi’s book, From Sabbath to
Sunday, which was said to be an exact copy of his doctoral thesis. It
had been published by the Pontifical Gregorian University Press in 1977.
Inside, I found the following; chapter 2 opens with these words:
“The expression ‘Lord’s day’ which
first appears as an undisputed Christian designation for Sunday near the
end part of the second century, denotes a day
which belongs exclusively to the ‘Lord.’ Since Sunday has been
traditionally viewed by many Christians as the day of which Christ is Lord
and which is consecrated to Him, we may well begin our historical inquiry
into the origin of Sunday observance by ascertaining if Christ anticipated
the institution of a new day of worship dedicated exclusively to Him.”—From
Sabbath to Sunday, p. 17.
On later pages (pp. 111-131),
Bacchiocchi laboriously tries to determine the meaning of “the Lord’s day”
in Revelation 1:10.
A different author, that Bacchiocchi
was careful not to quote, had earlier written this:
“It was on the Sabbath that the Lord
of glory appeared to the exiled apostle. The Sabbath was as sacredly
observed by John on Patmos as when he was preaching to the people in the
towns and cities of Judea. He claimed as His own the precious promises that
had been given regarding that day. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,’
John writes.”—Acts of the Apostles, 581 (cf. 7 Bible Commentary,
The most detailed study on the topic, that I know of, is one I prepared for pp. 166-169
of my book, The Beginning of the End. There you will find a detailed
Bible study, referring to about two dozen Bible verses which clearly
establish that the “Lord’s day” is the Bible Sabbath.
Yet, on pp. 111-131 of his book,
Bacchiocchi assures the reader that “Lord’s day” cannot have any connection
with the oft-repeated identification of the Bible Sabbath with “the day of
the Lord” throughout the Bible (p. 112). The “Lord’s day” could be
Sunday, he said, because of three comments (made by uninspired writers)
after the New Testament ended (pp. 112-113). Also it could mean
“Easter Sunday” (p. 112) or the “eschatological day of Christ’s parousia [coming] and judgment” (p. 113); in
other words, the Second Advent of Christ.
After a lengthy discussion of comments
by this and that current Protestant or Catholic author, Bacchiocchi
concludes that “the identification of the ‘Lord’s day’ of Revelation 1:10
with the eschatological day of the Lord (understood as the day of Christ’s
judgment and parousia) appears to us as the most
plausible” (p. 123). The remainder of the chapter (pp. 123-131) is
occupied with this theme.
Following a variety of reasonings and references to over a dozen non-Adventist
commentators, he concludes that “the expression ‘Lord’s day’ of Revelation
1:10, because of its immediate and wider context, can be best interpreted as
a designation for the day of judgment and the parousia”
So, according to Bacchiocchi, Christ
spoke to John on the great day of judgment. Does that make sense?
As soon as Bacchiocchi arrived at
Andrews, he quickly established an extremely warm friendship with Dr. James
P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord’s Day
Alliance USA (LDA), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. To Adventists, the
entire situation seemed most startling. Here was the leading Protestant
organization in America dedicated to enacting a National Sunday Law—and one
of our university professors had started working with him on a joint
What was the project? Holding seminars
for non-Adventist Protestants in cities and towns throughout the United
States, sponsored by the LDA. This continued for years.
What was the stated objective of the
project? At each meeting, through rousing speeches, Bacchiocchi and an LDA
representative would encourage the audience to value more highly their
weekly day of rest—their “sabbath,” whether it be Saturday or Sunday.
Biblical, historical, and sociological data was presented, showing that, by
returning to the weekly rest day, America’s moral problems would more
easily be resolved.
Of course, you and I know that when
Protestants in America decide to value
Sunday sacredness enough, they will want to enact a National Sunday
Law. And when that happens, the papacy will be magnified, since Sunday
sacredness is the “child of the papacy.” If you have any doubt about the
truth of this paragraph, read chapter 35 (pp. 563-581) of Great
“Protestants little know what they are
doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday
exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose,
Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy.
Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church
may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances
may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and
state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this
country is assured.”—Great Controversy, 581.
“Marvelous in her shrewdness and
cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her
time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their
acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it
by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who
reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled
infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How
readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not
difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how
to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?”—Great
Close contacts with the LDA and
important Protestant leaders on various levels continued. Bacchiocchi
became our self-appointed champion at lectures, meetings, and conventions.
His message was that every Christian should observe a sabbath, one day in
seven for spiritual rest. A weekly rest day was the only way in which true
rest in Christ could be obtained. Frankly, even Muslims would appreciate Bacchiocchi’s meetings.
“How wonderful,” thought some of our leaders. Bacchiocchi is bringing the other churches to
the importance of the Bible Sabbath. Far from it; he was urging Protestants
and Catholics to protect their weekly rest day from desecration. Just one
step from a call for a National Sunday Law.
About 1980, while we were still living
in southern Illinois, the LDA held a widely advertised meeting in Marion,
Illinois. Although we lived over 35 miles away, a flyer emphasizing the
importance of keeping sacred one’s weekly rest day was sent to us in the
mail. Bacchiocchi was the featured speaker. “Rest for Human Restlessness”
was his theme. The subheads talked about the importance of returning to our
weekly rest day.
At about the same time, the Lake
Union Herald applauded his efforts. One article had a photo of him in
his full pontifical university regalia—a black robe with a very large metal
sunburst image over his chest—standing before an Adventist audience.
The sun image appeared to be about 7
inches in diameter and had large spiky rays extending about 2 inches out of
the central sun on all sides. In the article, Bacchiocchi was reported to
have said to the audience (some of whom seemed a little nervous about the
robe and sun image), “Oh, this doesn’t bother you, does it?” With a
reassuring smile he continued his presentation. He knew what he was doing.
Here is Bacchiocchi, traveling around
America, representing the LDA, with a brilliant gold image of the sun god
on his chest, urging people to keep holy their weekly rest day. What does
that tell you? What day is he calling everybody back to?
All the while, some of our leaders
thought it a great honor to have such a distinguished graduate in our
midst, representing the finest in Adventism to our future pastors and
administrators at Andrews and holding meetings for Protestants to make
friends for our church.
During those 23 years from 1977 to
2000, Bacchiocchi continued on at our leading seminary. During that time,
he opposed certain liberal errors, such as women’s ordination. But,
intriguingly, they were always the ones that Rome opposes.
On September 19, 1987, Pope John Paul
II completed his second “pilgrimage” to the United States (the first was in
1979). The Church alone spent more than $22 million on the 10-day trip.
Sixteen thousand accredited journalists covered the event.
As you might expect, our denomination
felt the need to praise the pope. So, three months later, in the December
issue of our Signs of the Times, a full-length admiring article was
Oh, yes, and it was written by Samuele Bacchiocchi. Who did you expect?
Shortly afterward, we reprinted the
article in Appreciating the Pope [WM–207]. Here are a few excerpts
from this fawning article:
“To foster his role as the moral and
spiritual leader of mankind, the Pope regularly welcomes delegations and
leaders to the Holy See [the papal name for the pope’s headquarters] from
Christian and non-Christian religions. Last year, for example, hundreds of
leaders of all the major world religions accepted the pope’s invitations to
come to Italy and participate with him at Assisi in a special prayer
service for world peace.
“Millions around the world who saw the
Pope on their TV screens, leading world religious leaders in that prayer
service for world peace received a clear message: The Pope is accepted by
world religious leaders as the champion of the spiritual aspirations of all
peoples . .
“The Pope is succeeding admirably
today in being widely accepted as the Papa urbis et orbis,
the spiritual Father [printed with a capital “F”] of Rome and the world . .
“To them [the Evangelicals] the
Pontiff has become, as Martin E. Marty puts it, ‘a walking fortress of
faith’ in the midst of a godless society’ (TV Guide, Sept. 5, 1987) .
“The reason is simple. Most Christians
resent tyranny but welcome the voice of authority, certainty, and
assurance. They want to hear from their church leaders, ‘This is the way,
walk you in it!’ When they fail to hear this voice of authority from the
Scriptures as proclaimed by their pastors, they become attracted to the
Pope, who claims to offer the infallible interpretation of Scripture . .
“John Paul challenged Americans to
remember their ‘responsibility for justice and peace in the world’ . . By championing these legitimate human aspirations
with zeal, dignity, and devotion, the Pope has become for many the symbol
of the noblest aspirations humanity must struggle to achieve.
“John Paul has been warmly received in
the United States and the world over, because he practices well both
statecraft and soul-craft. To devout Catholics he is the symbol of their
piety, certainty, and assurance of salvation amidst the conflicting
teachings and values of our time. To evangelicals, he is a man of faith and
courage, willing to withstand secular, humanistic pressures. To mainstream
Protestants and people in general, he is the champion of peace on social
justice.”—Samuele Bacchiocchi, “Why Did
the Pope Visit America Again?” Signs of the Times, December 1987, pp. 18-21.
This article, one of the most
flattering about a pope ever to appear in an Adventist journal, was clearly
designed to awaken sympathetic interest for Catholicism on the part of the
hundreds of thousands of Adventists and non-Adventists who read this
monthly “evangelistic outreach” magazine, paid for from the sacrificial
offerings of faithful Advent believers.
Yet, all through those years,
Bacchiocchi had little to say in appreciation of the Spirit of Prophecy. He
The next year (1988), Bacchiocchi
published his book, Divine Rest for Human Restlessness, which
included this glowing foreword by the head of LDA:
“A Seventh-day Adventist, he was
graduated from the Gregorian University in Rome, the first non-Catholic to
do so and with summa cum laude [highest honors]. For his brilliant
academic achievement he was awarded a gold medal donated by Pope Paul VI.
His ecumenical spirit matches his vast academic achievements.”—Dr. James
P. Wesberry, Executive Director, Lord’s Day Alliance,
In the early 1990s, Bacchiocchi
started a little “sideline.” He began collecting the names and addresses of
Seventh-day Adventists—not only those who were members, but also those who,
though faithful to the message, had separated from the denomination. Why
did he want to collect such lists? No one knows. Bacchiocchi said he bought
and sold name lists for a little income on the side. In fact, he was so
involved in this project, that he somehow had enough money to pay someone
to enter new names and addresses onto his ever-growing lists.
Although denominational workers are
listed in the Adventist Yearbook, it is difficult to obtain many of
the members’ names; it is quite difficult to obtain those of faithful
believers who are no longer on church rolls. But Bacchiocchi was busily
collecting as many as he could get for some purpose.
Why would the graduate of a Jesuit
spy-training school be interested in collecting the names of Seventh-day
“You have been taught your duty as a
spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from
every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family
circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character . . among the schools and
universities, in parliaments and legislatures, and in the judiciaries and
councils of state, and to ‘be all things to all men,’ for the pope’s sake,
whose servants we are unto death.”—Inductive and Extreme Oath of the
Jesuits (1883), quoted in Eric J. Phelps, Vatican Assassins, p. 83.
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