For this article, Samuele Bacchiocchi is the subject.
— 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 [MB–53].)
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 of nations.
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 universities.
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 to God.
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 raise children.
An agent has several important duties, including these:
• Help bring in new agents.
• Protect existing agents.
• Obtain information that the Vatican can use.
• Influence doctrines and standards.
• Urge tolerance of variant doctrines and views.
• 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 day.
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
The Collegio 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 objectives.
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 assignments.
That little school, the first Jesuit training school in the world, grew until it became the Pontifical Gregorian University (Pontificia Universita Gregoriana), 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 locations.
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. 10)!
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 intricacies?
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.
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, p. 7.
“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., p. 21.
“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 Office.
“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., pp. 21-22.
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, pp. 378-379).
(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 Controversy, 160).
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 sports.
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 “outstanding scholarship.”
• For the first time in its entire history, the Pontifical Gregorian University would publish a book by a Protestant.
• 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 preface, below.
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].
The Gregoriana 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 exemplary Adventist.
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 organizations.
— 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 revealing.
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 ours).
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 later.
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 together.
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 university.
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, 955/2:2-3).
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” (p. 131).
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 project.
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 Controversy again!
“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 Controversy, 580.
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 printed.
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 still doesn’t.
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, p. 7.
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 Adventists?
“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.
There is a second page to this, but it was taken down before I could copy it, but there is a lot here.