The Truth About Samuele Bacchiocchi Part II
Reply to Bacchiocchi’s #86-89 Attack —2
— PART EIGHT—
BACCHIOCCHI ENTERS “RETIREMENT”
On July 1, 2000, when Samuele Bacchiocchi turned 62, he immediately resigned from his denominational position at Andrews, totally losing his means of support. In August 2002, he wrote this:
“I wish that I could receive at least one pay check at this time. The truth is that since I took an early retirement at the age of 62 on July 1, 2000, in order to devote myself more fully to Biblical research and lecturing, I receive no pay check at all at this time. I need to reach the age of 65 before I will receive the Social security and sustentation benefits.”—Bacchiocchi, Endtime Issues, #88, p. 8.
Although Bacchiocchi has no apparent means of support, he is mysteriously doing very well financially.
After 23 years at the Seminary, he was able to resign early; for he had left behind a solid group of associates whom he knew would continue teaching the students as he had done.
Now it was time to broaden his ministry to a far wider number of our people. Bacchiocchi had enough contacts in place that he quickly started speaking at meetings throughout the United States and overseas. In addition, he started an e-mail newsletter, in which, little by little, he carefully began teaching his “advance positions,” as he thought the readers were ready for them.
He calls these installment newsletters, “Bible studies.” But they generally consist of his speculations about various topics.
— PART NINE —
THE ANTICHRIST AND LITTLE HORN
Daniel spoke of the little horn (Dan 7-8), Paul spoke of the man of sin (2 Thess 2:3), and several terms in Revelation are used for that same organization. Of the four times the antichrist is mentioned in the Bible, all are in two of John’s epistles: 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and 2 John 7.
In his summer 2002 Endtime Issues, #86, Bacchiocchi declares that the antichrist of Bible prophecy includes not only the papacy, but also Islam. He then attempts to show that the antichrist is not so much Rome, but primarily Islam!
Of course, such talk, coming from one who 15 years earlier wrote the most flattering praise for the pope, seems strange. If Bacchiocchi was an emissary of Rome, why would he speak negatively about Rome?
However, it is a well-known fact that Jesuit agents are under orders by their superiors to do whatever it takes in order to achieve their ultimate objective—even if it requires, from time to time, a verbal attack on the Vatican and the pope himself!
“My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: Among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man.
“Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant. And obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and [if necessary to complete your disguise] to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among the Jews—that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.”—The Jesuit Oath, in ibid., p. 82.
Throughout his study on the antichrist, Bacchiocchi compares and contrasts Catholicism with Islam, in an effort to show that the Biblical antichrist has primarily consisted of Islam down through the centuries, and hardly anything else.
A primary objective of the Jesuits has consistently been to eliminate papal Rome from Bible prophecy. The following data on futurism and preterism is from a forthcoming book by the present author:
Francisco Ribera, in 1537-1541, developed what we today call Futurism. He declared that the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation would not be fulfilled until the very last days when, for 2300 literal days or about 7 years, an antichrist would appear. It was theorized that, at that time, a Jewish temple would be rebuilt in old Jerusalem. (In reality, the Muslims will never permit such a temple to be built on the Temple Mount.)
Samuel Maitland, William Burgh, John Darby, James Todd, and John Henry Newman were later leading Protestant theologians who infiltrated Jesuits used to spread this error throughout modern Protestantism. The Plymouth Brethren, the High Church Oxford Movement in the Anglican Church, and the Scofield Bible especially helped in this work.
A variant of this futurism was the development of dispensationalism, one form of which pushes many of the prophecies to the last days, to be fulfilled by the Jewish people.
Another Jesuit, Luis de Alcazar (1554-1613) developed the opposite position, known as Preterism. This is the teaching that the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were fulfilled in ancient times by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Nero, and/or pagan Rome.
Hugo Grotius, of Holland, and Hammond, of England, helped further this error. Anti-Christian, German rationalists heavily endorsed it. This included J.G. Eichhorn, H.G.A. Ewald, G.C.F. Lucke, W.M.L. De Wette, Franz Delitzsch, and Julius Wellhausen. Since 1830, many British and American Bible teachers have taught it to their students.
Pursuing a similar line of reasoning, Samuele Bacchiocchi tries to prove that the Biblical antichrist is actually Islam, more than anything else.
Actually, Bacchiocchi sees the antichrist as including a great variety of people.
“John sees the antichrist as a principle of hostility and opposition to God.”—Endtime Issues, #86, p. 17.
Bacchiocchi then turns his attention to the little horn of Daniel 7—and decides that it applies directly, not only to the papacy, but to Islam.
“Truly, the description of the Little Horn as a power that began small but became exceedingly powerful fits well not only the Papacy, but also Islam.”—Ibid., p. 18.
However, Bacchiocchi adds that the little horn applies more to Islam than to the papacy. Regarding the uprooting of three horns, “this distinguishing mark fits better Islam than the Papacy” (ibid.). Along with this, he says that, “comparing to the Papacy, Islam has persecuted Christians far more intensively and extensively” (ibid., p. 20).
So one can see the direction in which Bacchiocchi is headed: The little horn of Daniel applies primarily or only to Islam.
— PART TEN—
THE 1260 YEARS
Next, Bacchiocchi attacks our historic position on the 1260-year prophecy. Because it is quite obvious that Islam cannot be contained within a 1260-year time period between A.D. 538 and 1798, Bacchiocchi must figure out a way to change that extremely important prophecy.
Near the end of his Endtime Issues, #86, Bacchiocchi declares that our historic position on the 1260-year prophecy is incorrect. But he says that he received such a torrent of responses to that newsletter (of which he claims 95% agreed with his skepticism), that he spends most of #87 amplifying his theories that Ellen White’s writings, especially Great Controversy, were full of errors needing his (Bacchiocchi’s) corrections.
Just now, we will focus on what he has to say about the 1260-year prophecy. In order to build his case concerning this, Bacchiocchi interweaves several arguments in #86, pp. 21-22, and #87, pp. 11-16:
• The 1260 years do not start in A.D. 538.
• The 1260 years do not end in 1798.
• Ellen White was in error when she wrote about that time period in Great Controversy.
• The 1260 years is symbolic and is not 1260 years in length!
The 1260-year prophecy is extremely important, and helps identify the little horn. The following section is excerpted from a forthcoming book by the present author:
A.D. 508, 538, AND 1798
The historical basis for 508—What happened in 508 that made it important, as the beginning of the 1290-year prophecy?
About the year A.D. 508, Clovis, king of the Franks, was converted to Catholicism and the victory over the Goths occurred. The conversion of the Franks (France) and Goths (Germany) would, in later centuries, result in greatly strengthening papal supremacy; so this was an important date. We have always marked this as the beginning of the important 1290-year prophecy (Dan 12:11). Both the 1290- and 1260-year prophecies end in 1798. The 1335-year prophecy of the next verse (Dan 12:12) also begins at 508 and reaches to 1843. This view is a correct historical fulfillment, and agrees with our historic beliefs. The “daily” is applied to what happened when the 1290- (instead of 1260-year) year prophecy began and establishes the A.D. 508 date. It dovetails nicely with the A.D. 538 date which began the 1260-year prophecy.
The historical basis for 538—The 1843 chart links “538” with the plucking up of the three horns and the “commencement of papal supremacy.” This position is based on the prophecy in Daniel 7:25 and the uprooting of the third horn (Dan 7:8, 20, 24). It focuses on what happened when the 1260 years began.
According to our historic position, the missing phrase accompanying “continual” (tamid) is “paganism,” or “pagan supremacy,” which papal Rome took away at the beginning of the 1260 years. In A.D. 538, Emperor Justinian’s general, Belisarius, uprooted the third horn (the Ostrogoths). It is a known fact that, by this act, papal Rome eliminated pagan supremacy in the West.
In another sense, the papacy replaced the pagan abomination, which had extended back in history to Cain, with a papal abomination which masqueraded as the true worship of God.
How did the papacy take away paganism?—Historians tell us that part of the way the papacy took away paganism was by absorbing its essential elements. (See the present author’s book, Mark of the Beast, 22-25, for quotations by historians which verify this.) This is what made it Satan’s masterpiece of deception. It was just the old pagan religions and repression, masquerading as Christianity. The pagan abomination was transferred into something more deadly.
The Biblical basis for the date A.D. 538—What is the Bible evidence for beginning the 1260 years in 538? The critics charge that there is none. In reply, it has to be something which can be confirmed by historians. Determining the starting point is crucial. Some think the historical event is the taking away of the daily in Daniel 8:11. But that does not provide a definitive date, since the papacy was growing in power and influence from A.D. 330 (when Constantine moved to Constantinople) onward.
The starting point for the 1260 years is clearly given to us twice in the previous chapter (Dan 7:8, 20). It is the plucking up of the third horn. That event is solidly fixed by historians as occurring in A.D. 538. None can question the dating of that event: the overthrow of the Ostrogoths.
The historical importance of 538—It is charged by some that 508 and 538 are not significant, since the papacy had supremacy centuries earlier. That is a standard papal claim that its supremacy extends back to only a short time after the apostles died. But that claim is not correct. Our historic dates for the beginning of the 1290- and 1260-year time spans stand solid. Not until the papacy had power over the nations did it have supremacy—and this did not happen until those dates.
When did the papacy replace paganism?—In order to better understand the relationship between the 508 and 538 dates, we need to understand that the papacy was growing in power for centuries. The full supremacy of the pope did not occur until 508 and 538. Five events marked important turning points in the gradual increase of the power of the Roman bishop.
The first date was in A.D. 195, when Pope Victor demanded that all the Christian churches obey his decree to henceforth observe Easter on Sunday (instead of the day in the week on which the Jewish Passover fell). The other churches were astonished at his audacity. Never before had one Christian church tried to lord it over the others. It is significant that this first attempt at gaining the supremacy was fought over Sunday sacredness, even though it was only for the yearly Easter service. Significantly, it was the Roman bishop who was championing it. Thoughtful historians recognize that, from its earliest days, the strongest claims of the Roman bishop to supremacy were based on its exaltation of Sunday. Yet, in spite of Pope Victor’s demands, the other Christian churches refused to yield to his supremacy. Contrary to pro-Catholic claims, papal supremacy does not date back to those earlier centuries.
The second date was in A.D. 321. Even though it did not mention the Christian religion, Constantine’s monumental Sunday Law of 321 was a major achievement for Pope Sylvester I. His close adviser, Eusebius, admits that they, the papal authorities, influenced the emperor to enact that law (Great Controversy, 574). But its enactment did not give the papacy supremacy. The Sunday Law was carefully worded to placate both the Mithraites and the half-converted Christians.
The third date was in A.D. 330, when Constantine I, nine years after issuing his first Sunday Law (A.D. 321), moved the capital of the Roman Empire to faraway Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. This greatly increased the position of the pope, but he still lacked civil power. The papacy could not gain the supremacy until it became a church-state.
The fourth date was A.D. 508, when Clovis, king of the Franks (modern France), was nominally converted along with his subjects. That territory had been the strong Roman province of Gaul. Imperial forces conquered the Goths at about the same time. We date the 1290 years from this time. Pope Vigilius became, at that time, an important new leader in the West.
The fifth date was A.D. 538, when the third of the three horns was overthrown. In 493, the Heruli had been conquered; in 534 the Vandals were eliminated; and, in 538, the Ostrogoths vanquished. For the first time, all the tribes opposing the pope had been crushed. The emperor, Justinian, lived far away in Constantinople; and he and his successors did not henceforth interfere in papal activities.
We date the 1260 years from this point. At last, the papacy had become a church-state, controlling territory in its own right. Truly can it be said that A.D. 508 and 538 marked the historical beginning of papal supremacy.
Historians are agreed that the papacy was increasing in power for several centuries. But A.D. 508 and 538 are crucial. Both dates combine to mark the transition to papal supremacy. The way it is worded, the 1843 chart lists both as key events (more on this later). From 538, onward, the papacy surged forward in its blasphemous claims and tyrannical rule.
Pagan supremacy—Exactly what was the “continual” (the tamid) that the papacy took away in 538? In one sense, it was the desolating abomination of paganism. In another sense, it was pagan supremacy. The supremacy of paganism essentially ended in 538 and was replaced by papal ascendency.
It is claimed that our traditional view is incorrect, because the papacy is said to have had full supremacy prior to A.D. 538. The historical facts, given above, shows that charge to be incorrect. But there is also other evidence:
Who uprooted the three horns?—It is an intriguing fact that the papacy did not uproot even one of the three horns. It did not do this—and the reason was that, prior to the beginning of the 1290 and 1260 years, it did not yet have the supremacy to do so. It lacked the civil power and force of arms.
Emperor Justinian sent General Belisarius all the way from Constantinople to conquer those western heathen tribes, and Belisarius did it with remarkable success against great odds. Historically, the papacy did not take away the horns. They were, as Daniel explains, subdued before it (Dan 7:20). However, Justinian had Belisarius do it at the request of the pope. It was in this sense that the papacy “took away” paganism (“He shall subdue three kings”; Dan 7:24). The result is the same. By 538, the papacy was freed from outside interference and able to track down and destroy Christians over a wide area, as predicted in Revelation 12.
The A.D. 538 transition—When the Heruli and confederated tribes under the Heruli chief, Odoacer, removed the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, from his throne in Rome in A.D. 476, the barbarian tribes overran the Roman Empire.
At this point, a struggle for theological and political power began by the Roman Catholic papacy against, not only paganism but also, Arianism. The conversion of Clovis, the king of the Franks (in Gaul, modern France), to Catholicism brought a powerful support to the papacy.
A.D. 538 marked a pivotal turning point, for in that year the Arians were driven out of Rome. It came about in this way:
The Arian Heruli had controlled Rome for a number of years. In A.D. 488, the Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno, asked Theodoric, head of the Arian Ostrogoths, to conquer the Heruli, which he did.
Then General Belisarius conquered the remaining Arian powers, the Vandals in North Africa (534) and the Ostrogoths in Italy (537-538).
In A.D. 538, the Roman Catholic emperor, Justinian, ordered all citizens of the empire to become Roman Catholic within three months, or leave the empire. Those who refused, both Arians and pagans, had their property confiscated. (See Sumerbell, History of the Christian Church, pp. 310-311.)
Another major event occurred that same year (A.D. 538): Roman Catholicism promulgated the first religious Sunday law. This was the 28th canon of the Third Council of Orleans, France, which convened that year. It was the first Sunday law to forbid rural agricultural labor (J.N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, 2nd ed., p. 372).
A.D. 538 was clearly the key date, although advances and setbacks occurred for quite some time, both before and afterward. Prior to 538, the papacy gradually moved toward supremacy. After that date, from time to time it gained increased supremacy. (For example, in 756, the Frankish king Pepin waged two military campaigns against the Lombards who had captured central Italy, liberating the area for papal rule.) But 538 marked the transition.
Did the Vandals and Ostrogoths return later?—It has been suggested that these two tribes were not fully subdued by A.D. 538. But Robert Browning, in his recent book, Justinian and Theodora, describes in detail what happened. In 534, the Vandals were totally vanquished by Belisarius and “the Vandals as a people vanished from the face of the earth” (Browning, pp. 24-25). In the spring of 538, Belisarius conquered the Ostrogoths; and, shortly thereafter, “the Ostrogothic kingdom had ceased to exist” (ibid., p. 114).
When did the pagan little horn become the papal little horn?—In Daniel 8, the little horn power arises as the next major power, supplanting the four Grecian territorial kingdoms, as it gradually conquers them (Dan 8:9). But, at some point in history, this pagan power (Imperial Rome) becomes the papal power (the papacy). When, historically, does this occur? There are three primary events which led to the transition. Historians recognize them as highly significant.
The first event occurred in A.D. 330, when, nine years after his first Sunday law of A.D. 321, Constantine I journeyed east and turned the little town of Byzantium into his magnificent new capital which he named Constantinople (modern Istanbul). It was 1,150 miles due east of the city of Rome. In so doing, the emperor gave the pope enormous influence over the Italian peninsula. But make no mistake; although his capital was far away to the East, Constantine and his successors still governed the entire empire and Italy was still harassed by Gothic tribes from the north. Although the pope had more power, he was still politically very weak.
The second event is the year A.D. 508. At about that time Clovis, king of the Franks, was converted to Catholicism and the victory over the Goths occurred. This was a significant date in the gradual increase of papal power. The conversion of the Franks (France) would, in later centuries, greatly strengthen papal supremacy; so it was an important date. We recognize it as the beginning of the 1290 years.
The third event marked the beginning of full papal control, a control which it extended throughout Europe and held for centuries. In A.D. 538, the uprooting of the third opposing horn (the Ostrogoths) occurred. We date the beginning of the 1260 years to this year. This was the most important date of the three, marking the rise of the papal power for two reasons: First, for the first time, the papacy had both religious and political power. The harassment of pagan forces was immensely lessened. Second, this event (the uprooting of the third horn) was specifically mentioned three times in prophecy (Dan 7:8, 20, 24).
Special power during the 1260 years—It was given its religious power over the nations at exactly the time predicted—during the 1260 years (Dan 7:25). It is significant that the 1260-year prophecy is mentioned twice in Daniel (Dan 7:25; 12:7) and five times in Revelation (11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5). It is the primary time span marking papal authority.
The 1260 years began in A.D. 538. In 533, Justinian recognized the pope’s ecclesiastical supremacy as “head of all the holy churches” in both East and West. In 538, the Ostrogoths were defeated and the papacy was freed from the domination of the Arian kings in the West; so the papacy could henceforth grow in power, unhindered by anyone.
Having attained full power and authority in the West, the papacy entered upon its 1260 years of dominance in Europe. This date, A.D. 538, is solidly established as the beginning of the 1260-year prophecy.
1798 and the end of the 1260 years—Just as a cluster of events surrounded the A.D. 538 transition of the papacy into supremacy, so several events clustered about 1798, when both the 1260 and 1290 years ended. On February 10, 1798, Napoleon’s general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and proclaimed Rome to be a republic. The aged Pope Pius VI, refusing to recognize the proclamation, fled for refuge first to Siena and then near Florence. He there set up a small curia to administer the church. But it was for nought, for he was captured and the papacy was abolished. All of Europe was astonished: The papacy was gone.
Russia and Austria decided to restore the pope to his pontifical throne. But even that desperate attempt failed. The pope was hurried from prison to prison in France. The objective of Napoleon was to permanently end the papacy. Pius VI was 81 years old and ill when he was seized. On August 17 (some historians say August 29), 1799, he died in the French fortress of Valence, France. All Europe recognized that the papacy was dead.
The 1798 captivity was unique in at least two ways: First, it came as the climax of several centuries of decline in the influence of Catholicism on the minds of Europeans. Second, it was not merely a military or political coup, but a stroke deliberately intended to forever terminate the papacy.
A.D. 1798 marked the end of papal supremacy—The papacy had been losing political and religious power since the sixteenth century, yet it had continued exerting a strong influence over nations all the way up to the end of the eighteenth century.
How did it maintain that supremacy during that long period of time? Speaking of 1798, we are told:
“In many of the nations of Europe the powers that ruled in church and state had for centuries been controlled by Satan through the medium of the papacy.”—Great Controversy, 268-269.
But 1798 marked a significant changeover.
“Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.”—Great Controversy, 266.
The remarkably successful revolution in America (1776-1781) encouraged the French to try to do it also; but, lacking Christian principles, they utterly failed. However, throughout the nineteenth century, nation after nation in Europe moved into representative monarchies or full democracies. The papacy could not regain its lost supremacy.
Pius IX (1846-1878) tried desperately to re-establish that power, with his 1854 Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary; his infamous Syllabus of Errors (the “Index”), in which he listed all the principles of religious freedom and modern science as heretical; and his mammoth debacle, which is a shame to every Catholic leader since then: his Dogma of Papal Infallibility, which he rammed through the Vatican I Council (1869-1870) on July 18, 1870. But those actions were but the desperate attempts of a loser to regain power.
In the midst of Pius IX’s reign, Victor Emmanuel II, king of Sardinia, captured Rome, united Italy, and declared himself its king. In the process, the States of the Church, which included part of central Italy, were taken from the pontiff. But that was just an aftermath to an earlier lost majesty and power over the nations.
The healing of the wound—In connection with the above paragraph, it should be mentioned that Mussolini’s Treaty of the Vatican with Pope Pius XI (through Cardinal Gasparri) on February 11, 1929, is generally thought to be the “healing of the wound,” the restoration of papal supremacy. On that date, the Vatican was given 108.7 acres of land.
In truth, the real healing of the wound and restoration of that supremacy will occur when the U.S. National Sunday Law is enacted, to be followed by enactment of Sunday Laws by nations throughout the world. Only then will the predicted papal supremacy over the nations again occur (read Great Controversy, 448-449, 580-581). (For historical data on the 1929 event, see our Mark of the Beast, pp. 32-33.)
“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.
Relation of 1798 to the American Revolution—Another important event also occurred close to the year 1798. You will want to carefully read Great Controversy, 439-440. It explains that the Revelator predicted that, at about the same time that the papacy would come to its end, an important new nation would be rising “out of the earth”—where there were few people (Rev 13:1-11).
“What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power . . The application of the symbol admits of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America.”—Great Controversy, 440.
It is important that we not forget this linkage. The year 1798 not only marks the end of papal supremacy, but also the rising of America to what eventually would become an international power overawing all other nations on earth. A recent news report stated that the U.S. is now militarily stronger than the next 16 most powerful military nations in the world combined! That is incredible.
That concludes the excerpted section from a forthcoming book by the present author.
Regarding the 1260-year prophecy, Bacchiocchi also tries to downplay the terrible persecution by the papacy that was predicted. But the verdict of history is quite different:
“Compared with the persecution of heresy in Europe from 1227 to 1492, the persecution of Christians by Romans in the first three centuries after Christ was a mild and humane procedure.”—Will and Ariel Durant, The Age of Faith, p. 784.
Writing of the persecution of French Huguenots in 1685 under King Louis XIV, Durant makes a similar, equally amazing comparison:
“This holy terror of 1685 . . was far worse than the Revolutionary terror of 1793.”—Will and Ariel Durant, The Age of Louis XIV, p. 73.
Is the 1260-year prophecy symbolic?—After taking the reader through involved reasoning to conclude that the 1260-year prophecy began in A.D. 451 or as late as 756 and ended in 1870 (1419 years or 1114 years, not 1260), Bacchiocchi concluded by claiming that the 1260 years is totally symbolic and is without years in length! He says the 1260-year prophecy is actually not a time span, but is symbolic of half of a perfect number 7.
This is the type of Jesuit reasoning that we find in Jesuit writings. Everything is confused and designed to mystify the reader, so he can more easily be caught in a net of Catholic deception. An ultimate goal of the Jesuits is to remove the papacy from every Bible prophecy. The 1260 years is one of those Bible prophecies.
In Endtime Issues, #86, under the heading, “The Time of the Domination of the Antichrist,” Bacchiocchi mystifies the 1260 years into a marvelous nothingness:
“In Daniel 7:25 and 12:7, the three and a half years are the time when the Antichrist power oppresses the saints of the Most High.”—Endtime Issues, #86, p. 21.
He then says this:
“A more satisfactory interpretation of the prophetic period of three and a half years is suggested by its symbolic usage to represent, on the one hand the time of domination of the Antichrist, and on the other hand the protection of God’s people in time of persecution.”—Ibid., p. 22.
“Three and a half is half of seven, which is the number of God’s completion and perfection, Half of seven suggests incompletion and limitation.”—Ibid.
Bacchiocchi then mentions that Elijah’s famine and Christ’s ministry each lasted only three and a half years.
“The attacks against Christ lasted only three and a half years. Why? Because half a week stands for incompletion, limitation. The forces of evil were limited by God and could not accomplish the complete destruction of Christ and His work.”—Ibid.
This is the kind of strange reasoning we find in papal documents: Because Christ’s ministry lasted three and a half years, therefore He was only partly destroyed! Perhaps Jesuits may believe that Christ was partly destroyed at Calvary, but we don’t.
It is amazing how frail mortals imagine that they can “correct” the Inspired Writings; After sitting in infallible judgment on pages in Great Controversy, only a few pages away he is spouting ridiculous speculations which reveal a shallow mind.
You will recall that we earlier mentioned that Francisco Ribera, in 1537-1541, developed the error of Futurism, declaring that the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation would not be fulfilled until seven literal years in the last days. Bacchiocchi’s theory sounds something like that.
At one point in #87, Bacchiocchi says, “What I am suggesting is only a proposed interpretation, not a dogmatic position. What I am doing is thinking aloud.” —He is urging major changes in the Spirit of Prophecy and our doctrinal positions; yet he says he is proposing suggestions or thinking aloud! If that is all he is doing, Bacchiocchi needs to turn off his computer and start reading the Inspired Books. They are the only ones which can get him back on the right track.
— PART ELEVEN— ATTACK ON THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BACCHIOCCHI: EGW IS IN ERROR
In order to strengthen his rejection of the dating of the 1260-year prophecy, Bacchiocchi interweaves a direct attack on Ellen White’s writings. In order to do this, he uses the words, “papal supremacy,” very loosely.
Two “errors” “corrected” in the 1911 Great Controversy—He claims that her book, Great Controversy, is filled with errors which he does not have time to mention. Then he cites two examples of errors in the 1888 edition which were corrected in the 1911 edition. We will discover that they are not errors after all!
The first “corrected error”—Bacchiocchi claims that “papal supremacy” actually began long before A.D. 538. Here is the first supposed “error” in Great Controversy that he says was corrected in the next edition of that book:
“The 1260 years of papal supremacy began with the establishment of the papacy in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798.”—Great Controversy, 1888 ed., p. 254.
“The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would terminate in 1798.”—Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 254.
The 1911 statement may appear to be a little clearer, but it actually says essentially the same thing.
Papal supremacy was fully established in A.D. 538; that is what both passages say. And it is the truth. For centuries, the papacy had been moving closer to that supremacy. By 538, the objective was attained. By that date, it was fully established as the religio/political powerhouse of the western half of the empire. In later years, that supremacy increased even more in strength. That is what we learn from history and from both editions of the above passage.
But Bacchiocchi says no.
“The development of the ‘supremacy of the papacy’ began long before 538.”—Bacchiocchi, Endtime Issues, #87, p. 11.
We agree that movement toward that supremacy began earlier. But it did not arrive until 538.
Bacchiocchi then cites his Gregorian doctoral thesis as proof:
“In my dissertation I have shown that the development of the papal primacy began already in the second century, when the Pope exercised his ecumenical authority by imposing on Christian churches at large Easter-Sunday, weekly Sunday, and by condemning various movements like the Montanists [early Christians who opposed worldliness].”—Ibid.
If that is what is written in his doctoral thesis, it surely must be full of flaws. Bacchiocchi’s thesis was apparently written to please his instructors at the Gregoriana. Little wonder that the pope gave him a medal for his defense of Catholic errors. But notice these historical facts which contradict the above paragraph:
• There were no “popes” in the second century.
• The leader of the church at Rome had no “ecumenical authority” over the other churches in the second century.
• The other churches rejected his attempt to exercise authority in regard to Sabbathkeeping and all other matters. In A.D. 195, when Victor I (189-190), bishop of the church at Rome, issued an order for all the churches of Christendom to hold their yearly commemorative gatherings, in honor of Christ’s spring resurrection, on a Sunday instead of the Jewish passover (Nisan 14)—they rejected his overtures toward inter-church domination.
• Although not mentioned in his Endtime Issues, #87, Bacchiocchi primarily bases his case on a pseudopigraphal writing (a fake letter), supposedly written by Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, which was inserted into manuscripts of Irenaeus’ book, Against Heresies (composed c.A.D. 175-189).
This false document says that the church at Rome is “the very great, the very ancient and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul,” and that “it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre-eminent authority; that is, the faithful everywhere” (Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 3, 3, 1, Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 415; quoted in Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, 209).
The above statement is obviously a fraudulent manuscript, brought forward centuries later by the papacy as additional evidence that it had primacy over the Christian churches all the way back to within a hundred years after the New Testament ended! Read the statement again. The very wording is a patent fraud.
“Notwithstanding that vice prevailed, even among the leaders of the Roman Church, her influence seemed steadily to increase. About the close of the eighth century, papists put forth the claim that in the first ages of the church the bishops of Rome had possessed the same spiritual power which they now assumed. To establish this claim, some means must be employed to give it a show of authority; and this was readily suggested by the father of lies. Ancient writings were forged by monks. Decrees of councils before unheard of were discovered, establishing the universal supremacy of the pope from the earliest times. And a church that had rejected the truth greedily accepted these deceptions.
“The few faithful builders upon the true foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10, 11) were perplexed and hindered as the rubbish of false doctrine obstructed the work. Like the builders upon the wall of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day, some were ready to say: ‘The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build.’ Nehemiah 4:10. Wearied with the constant struggle against persecution, fraud, iniquity, and every other obstacle that Satan could devise to hinder their progress, some who had been faithful builders became disheartened; and for the sake of peace and security for their property and their lives, they turned away from the true foundation.”—Great Controversy, 56.
Either Bacchiocchi is a Jesuit agent, peddling their lies or the poor guy was brainwashed during his five years at the pope’s university and cannot be trusted to provide reliable information on either theology or church history. Take your choice.
Albert H. Newman (no relation to Cardinal Newman) wrote an outstanding two-volume, Manual of Church History. In the section on Victor and the Easter controversy, Newman summarized Irenaeus’ true position on it, based on authentic documents he penned, revealing that Irenaeus bitterly opposed Victor’s attempt to lord it over the other local churches and try to enforce the keeping of Easter Sunday.
“Irenaeus looked upon the Church as an organic unity . . He nowhere lays stress upon episcopacy as a divine institution, but makes the liberty and independence of each church (including a city with its surrounding villages) the fundamental principle of the ecclesiastical constitution.”—Newman, Manual of Church History, Vol. 1, p. 252.
Newman goes on to explain that Victor was “arrogant enough to break off communion with the other churches” because they would not accept his Easter Sunday theory. “Irenaeus,” he says, “censures severely his intolerant conduct” (ibid.).
The second “corrected error—The second “glaring mistake” that Bacchiocchi says Ellen White made in the 1888 edition, which he says was corrected in the 1911, was this:
“The infliction of the deadly wound points to the abolition of the papacy in 1798.”—Great Controversy, 1888 ed., p. 554.
“The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798.”—Great Controversy, 1911 ed., p. 579.
Once again, both statements say the same thing. We earlier found that, in 1798, General Berthier took Pope Pius VI captive and abolished the papacy. All Europe recognized that the downfall of the papacy had occurred. Everyone was shocked. The papacy was gone! All other papal crises, before and after, were as nothing compared with this.
Consider what happened to the Vatican and the city of Rome:
“The French imposed severe military levies and imposts upon Rome and carried the most valuable works of art to Paris; and Rome was subjected to a pillage unsurpassed by those of the Goths, Vandals or Normans centuries before. Priestly robes were burned for the gold in their embroidery; palaces and churches were ransacked, and their treasures of art were carried away or destroyed. The Romans . . rose against the French, but were reduced to submission with terrible loss of life.”—I.S. Smith, Standard History of the World, Vol. 7, p. 3416.
It was not until September 18, 1801, that Bonaparte made a treaty, called the Concordat with a new pope (Giovanni Angelo Braschi; Pius VII; 1800-1823), thus establishing him on his throne in the midst of a gutted city.
Is Great Controversy “full of error”?—Bacchiocchi claims that this invaluable book has error running all through it. He says that he will not take time to cite it all, but will only mention two examples (quoted above). We have found that both “corrections” were not corrections.
About a decade ago, the present writer closely compared the 1888 edition with the 1911 edition; and, aside from some of the cited historical quotations, he could not find one significant change, not one.
Check it out for yourself: Take a copy of our paperback 1888 edition (which is an exact duplicate of the original) and compare it, paragraph by paragraph, with the 1911. Aside from the historical quotations, you will find no changes of significance, nothing.
What about those historical quotations? Different ones were at times quoted in the 1911, when the ones Ellen White had quoted in the 1888 could not be located (so source references could be attached to them).
Another difference was that all the 1888 edition quotations from J.H. Merle D’Aubigné, were taken from one English translation of his History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century while those in the 1911 were taken from a different English translation. The reason: After 1888, D’Aubigné officially approved a different English translation (because he was given royalties from its sale).
Bacchiocchi says early Sabbathkeeping untrue—Bacchiocchi next tells us there is a need for further corrections in the Spirit of Prophecy books, and cites two examples.
You will recall that, earlier in this study, we learned that Monachino, in his preface to Bacchiocchi’s book, cited the two objectives of the thesis and book: (1) To prove that the papacy changed the Sabbath to Sunday as early as the second century, and that all Christians obediently accepted the change. (2) Sundaykeepers should hallow and honor Sunday more than they now do.
It is the first of those two objectives that Bacchiocchi is promoting in this attack on Great Controversy, pp. 52 and 53, which says the opposite.
• Bacchiocchi says the following statement is in error:
“In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts.”—Great Controversy, 52.
Bacchiocchi was taught at the Jesuit university that nearly all Christians were keeping Sunday in the second century A.D.
• Bacchiocchi claims that Ellen White taught: (1) All Christians kept the Bible Sabbath before the time of Constantine. (2) No Christians kept Sunday until the time of Constantine.
He says this sentence proves his point:
“In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire.”—Great Controversy, 53.
Bacchiocchi, considered to be a Jesuit-trained expert on the Sabbath in the early church, is wrong again. Here are the facts:
(1) Ellen White wrote, “In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians.” That is true. Although worldlings, professing faith in Christ, kept Sunday at Alexandria and Rome, genuine Christians continued to keep the true Bible Sabbath in the first centuries.
Two church historians who wrote a full hundred years after the time of Constantine’s Sunday edict declared that all Christians, with the exception of those in Alexandria, Egypt, Rome, and Italy, were still keeping the Bible Sabbath. (Their statements will be quoted shortly.) So Ellen White was correct in her statement.
(2) Bacchiocchi charges that Ellen White claimed that no Sundaykeeping in Christendom occurred until the time of Constantine.
But she never said that in her Great Controversy, p. 53, statement, above, which he quoted or anywhere else. She never said that no professed Christians kept Sunday before the time of Constantine.
Bacchiocchi was careful not to quote the complete passage on p. 52 (quoted soon), which disproves his charge.
But, first, let us consider the structure of most of Great Controversy, chapter 3 (The Apostasy). Ellen White introduces it with the statement:
“Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church.”—Great Controversy, 49:2.
That is how the changeover to Sunday—as well as the other apostasies—was done.
Read the entire paragraph. Then, beginning on p. 51, she lists item after item that was changed: Bible forbidden (p. 51), the worship of idols (p. 52), the change from Sabbath to Sunday (pp. 53-54), etc.
It is for this reason that 52:0 speaks of a general council, convened to establish image worship and, then, in 52:1, begins discussion of the change of the Sabbath to Sunday.
Bacchiocchi quotes three sentences from that paragraph and one sentence from the next page (quoted above).
But that introductory paragraph to the change of the Sabbath says something quite different. Here is nearly all of it. She has finished talking about later councils, commanding idolatry, and returns us to the earliest centuries:
“The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as ‘the venerable day of the sun.’ This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all [genuine] Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.”—Great Controversy, 52:1.
You have just read a clear, accurate statement on Sabbath- and Sundaykeeping by Christians, prior to the time of Constantine.
The reader is introduced to Constantine’s cooperation with church leaders on p. 53:1. He issued an edict decreeing Sunday sacredness, yet—
“While many [not all] God-fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment.”—Great Controversy, 53:1.
According to that statement, even after Constantine’s time, most Christians continued worshiping God on the Bible Sabbath; and some observed both days.
Here are the two remarkable statements, by reliable historians, which prove this. Both were written about one hundred years after Constantine issued his Sunday law:
“Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.”—Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History 5, 22; Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2, 2:132. [This statement was written about A.D. 440. He was not the famous Greek philosopher, Socrates of Athens (469-399 B.C.).]
“The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.”—Sozomen”; Ecclesiastical History 7, 13; Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2, 1:159. [Sozomen lived c.A.D. 400-c.447.]
Strand, an Adventist church historian, wrote this confirmation:
“The situation in Rome and Alexandria, however, was not typical of the rest of early Christianity. In those two cities there was an evident early attempt by Christians to terminate observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, but elsewhere throughout the Christian world Sunday observance simply arose alongside observance of Saturday.”—Kenneth Strand, “The Sabbath and Sunday from the Second through Fifth Centuries,” in The Sabbath and Sunday in History, p. 323.
Quoting Hippolytus of Rome and Origen of Alexandria, Strand adds that it was not until the fifth century that all the Christians in those two cities—Rome and Alexandria—stopped observing the Bible Sabbath.
Contrary to what Monachino and Bacchiocchi would have us believe, the seventh-day Sabbath was such an obvious Bible teaching that, for centuries, Christians continued to faithfully hallow it.
“Not all Christians in those two cities abandoned the Sabbath immediately and totally during the second century. By the time of Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen in the fifth century, however, it is clear that the omission of special Saturday worship services was an established fact having some degree of antiquity.”—Ibid., p. 324.
Great Controversy, pp. 52-53, is in total agreement. All true Christians were keeping the Bible Sabbath even after Constantine’s time, but they began observing religious services on Sunday in honor of the resurrection while using the rest of the day for recreation.
Think not that, because Bacchiocchi ignores them, that Socrates and Sozomen were fictional characters. Both were major fifth century church historians.
“In the following [fifth] century Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, each in his own way, continued the Church History of Eusebius to his own time. These include accounts of the great Christological controversies, and of the struggle of Christianity with paganism during the fourth and part of the fifth centuries . . Cassiodorus, a Roman statesman, had the Church Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret translated into Latin by Epiphanius . . This so-called ‘Tripartite [triple] History,’ along with that of Eusebius, formed the chief authority on ancient church history throughout the Middle Ages . . The works of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, like that of Eusebius, are available in excellent translations in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.”—Albert Henry Newman, A Manual of Church History, Vol. 1, pp. 12-13.
But, in strong contrast, Bacchiocchi was taught by his Jesuit instructors that, because of the authoritative supremacy of the Roman pope, nearly all Christians had abandoned the Bible Sabbath and were keeping Sunday as early as the second century—within 50 years after the time of the Apostle John!
The Jesuit/Monachino/Bacchiocchi objectives are (1) to extend the authoritative supremacy of the papacy back to nearly the time of the Apostles; (2) to downgrade the Bible Sabbath as contemptable in the eyes of the believers, by the time John had died; and (3) to exalt Sunday as sacredly observed by the very earliest Christians.
Did you notice that, earlier in this study, we found that a key objection of Bacchiocchi against our 1260-year interpretation is—that it does not give the papacy supremacy until A.D. 538?
It is my personal belief that Bacchiocchi, who spends a great deal of time holding seminars, can pour out such a volume of carefully contrived newsletters month after month, because he has several ghostwriters helping him. His contacts with the Vatican did not end when he was hired at Andrews. Endtime Issues, #87, dated August 1, 2002, contained 24 full-size pages. Issues, #88, appearing 20 days later, on August 21, had 29 pages. Yet in the back of his #87, he listed five two-day seminars he would be holding between those two newsletters: August 2-3 in Detroit, Michigan; 9-10 in Miami, Florida; 16-17 in Dallas, Texas; 23-24 in Toronto, Canada; 30-31 in Gentry, Arkansas (#Endtime Issues, #87, pp. 21-22). He also listed 8 new audio cassettes and 4 videos he has just completed (ibid, pp. 22-23).
Bacchiocchi is doing all this at the age of 62 when others around him are nearing retirement. He is in the midst of a continuing, ongoing heavy schedule of meetings, seminars, and the preparation of tapes and videos; and he must take time to schedule all this. In the midst of all that, those lengthy newsletters, with their extensive references to a variety of sources, are churned out.
“Did Sunday originate with the power of the State?”—That is the ingeniously worded title of Bacchiocchi’s next charge of error against Great Controversy. In order to prove his point, he quotes this sentence:
“It was on [“in” in Great Controversy] behalf of the Sunday that popery first asserted its arrogant claims; and its first resort to the power of the state was to compel the observance of Sunday as ‘the Lord’s day.’ ”—Great Controversy, 447 [pp. 446-447 in Great Controversy].
Note my bracketed corrections in the above Bacchiocchi quotation. Here, as in a number of other places in his newsletters, Bacchiocchi’s helpers, not as acquainted with English and the Spirit of Prophecy as well as Bacchiocchi and American Adventists would be, do not write too accurately.
Bacchiocchi then quotes a second “erroneous” passage:
“Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world.”—Great Controversy, 574.
He then explains the way in which the above two quotations are in error:
“Both statements just cited are inaccurate, because the secular power of the state did not influence or compel Christians to adopt Sunday during the second and third centuries.”—Endtime Issues, #87, p. 15.
According to Bacchiocchi, Ellen White teaches that Sundaykeeping originated with the power of the State, and that second-century Christians got the Roman government to enact ordinances doing this. That charge is ridiculous. Notice that the very next sentence in her statement refers to a fourth-century edict:
“The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine.”—Great Controversy, 574.
The present writer has also done extensive research into the history of the change of the Sabbath, but he did not have Jesuit research assistants. (See his 256-page book, Beyond Pitcairn, written after he completed over 120 pages of Sabbath tracts on the subject).
The truth is that Sundaykeeping originated with Persian Mithraism, which compromising half-baptized “Christians” at the “Christian” seminary at Alexandria, Egypt, were the first to copy. This worldly innovation then moved to Rome, where, in order to increase their influence, Roman church leaders demanded without success that the other churches worship on Sunday. So they next introduced Sunday as a resurrection memorial, to be observed voluntarily along with the Bible Sabbath. It is historically true that “it was in behalf of the Sunday that popery first asserted its arrogant claims.”
Then, two years before Constantine eliminated the last of his rivals (Licinius, head of the Eastern half of the empire), Roman church leaders induced him to issue the first of his six Sunday laws. It is historically true that the papacy’s first resort to the power of the state was to compel the observance of Sunday as “the Lord’s day.” Prior to Constantine, the Christian church never—not once—had any power with the government!
After the fourth century, “royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world.”
Once again, Ellen White is right.
Yet Bacchiocchi claims that the above-quoted two passages (GC 446-447 and 574) are not historically correct!
I am gaining the impression that Bacchiocchi, in his newsletters, is feeding Adventists a pack of falsehoods. We are confronted with a phalanx of writers, some doing research while others busily put it in written form and then send handfuls of it to Bacchiocchi to mail out over his name.
As it was before, so it will be again.
“The few faithful builders upon the true foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10, 11) were perplexed and hindered as the rubbish of false doctrine obstructed the work.”—Great Controversy, 56.
“Those were days of peril for the church of Christ. The faithful standard-bearers were few indeed. Though the truth was not left without witnesses, yet at times it seemed that error and superstition would wholly prevail, and true religion would be banished from the earth.”—Great Controversy, 55.
This is what we get when we hire a Jesuit-trained “Adventist” to teach error to our future church workers for 23 years at Andrews and then, upon retirement, to focus on giving the rest of us all those errors. At least, we are now discovering what he has been teaching our pastors and leaders all those years.
The ecumenical councils—This man, in his newsletters, repeatedly avowing highest respect for Ellen White and her writings, asks “Was the Sabbath condemned by ecumenical councils?” and then quotes this “error”:
“Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted.”—Great Controversy, 53.
Bacchiocchi says she is wrong because there were only seven ecumenical councils and the Sabbath was not mentioned in their official reports.
First, historical records were repeatedly changed. Fraudulent documents were added and genuine ones were removed.
Second, many things were discussed and urged at the ecumenical, and other, councils which were not entered as official actions. Go to any local church board meeting and listen to everything that is said (all the while you would like to go home because it is getting past 10 p.m.) and then read the official minutes which contain only a few lines. “In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted.” It is true, even though the Vatican-doctored records do not reveal all of it. For over a thousand years, church records were left to the tender mercies of Catholic leaders. And we know what kind of men they were like.
Luther in Rome: “Everywhere he looked upon scenes that filled him with astonishment and horror. He saw that iniquity existed among all classes of the clergy. He heard indecent jokes from prelates, and was filled with horror at their awful profanity, even during mass. As he mingled with the monks and citizens he met dissipation, debauchery. Turn where he would, in the place of sanctity he found profanation. ‘No one can imagine,’ he wrote, ‘what sins and infamous actions are committed in Rome; they must be seen and heard to be believed. Thus they are in the habit of saying, ‘If there is a hell, Rome is built over it: it is an abyss whence issues every kind of sin’ ” (D’ Aubigné, bk. 2, ch. 6).”—Great Controversy, 125.
Third, she did not say “ecumenical councils.” There were many large councils; probably many of these were too embarrassing to permit their records to remain in existence.
Fourth, major church councils did mention it. For example, the very first religious law enacted by the Catholic Church in western Europe is to be found in the 28th canon (church law) of the Third Council of Orleans, France, which was held in A.D. 538. Notice the date: A.D. 538—when the 1260 years began! This law was the first to prohibit agricultural work on Sunday in rural areas. J.N. Andrews, in his History of the Sabbath, mentioned it (pp. 372-373), but Bacchiocchi’s handlers could not find that book in the Vatican archives. They probably consigned that 1873 book to the flames long ago.
Bacchiocchi’s point appears to be that the papacy was such a nice organization, it did not persecute Sabbathkeepers in later centuries.