In his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis dwelt extensively on the need to preserve the environment, in particular pointing to climate change as a problem that needed to be urgently addressed. He went on to link the problem to the human abuse of the environment by mostly market-driven capitalist countries. In the same year –marked by the unprecedented Pontiff’s address of the Joint Session of the US Congress and the United Nations General Assembly– the Pope urged world leaders to prioritize climate change through international environmental treaties with penalties for those who would fail to comply. Urging leaders to come together for common good, he remarked “International negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good.” (Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on the Care of our Common Home, paragraph # 169). And as part of the solution to ‘preserve the planet’ the Pope also urged Sunday as a day of rest for the environment, for families to strengthen ties and to give the poor a reprieve from the dehumanizing cycle of capitalist life.
The Word of God points to a threefold union of secular and religious powers in the last days that will combine to enforce a false religious institution and oppress God’s true worshipers. In the book of Revelation, John beholding in vision writes “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:13. The Papacy has a sordid history of combining church and state resulting in the persecution of dissenters from her faith. The book of Revelation identifies the Papal institution as the beast that would rise from the sea (Revelation13:1), would continue for a period of 42 months (1260 literal years) during which it would blaspheme God and persecute the saints of the Most High (verse 5, Dan. 7 & 8). This refers to the papacy’s ascent to power in 538AD, both as a religious and secular entity, up until 1798 when it became weakened, lost control of world governments and the pope at that time was taken captive and died in exile.
However, Scripture tells that the papacy will regain its lost supremacy in the last days and will re-enact the scenes of persecution as in the dark ages. The apostle John, referring to the same sea-beast writes “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.” Revelation 13:3. As in the past the, the book of Revelation reveals that the papal institution will make use of world governments to advance her ends. In the same chapter of Revelation John beholds a second beast arising from the land and this would cause the world to worship the image of the first beast, the papacy. “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” Revelation 13:11. He continues, referring to the same land beast “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” Revelation 13:3. The land beast which arises from the earth, pointing to an uninhabited area (Rev 17:15), and has horns like a lamb, showing innocence, can only and unmistakably refer to the United States of America which around 1798 was rising to become a world super power.
So in the final days, according to Scripture, the papacy will gain the agency of America and world governments and through these will enforce her mark on the world inhabitants. A third element in this threefold union is the false prophet according to Revelation 16:13 and this will perform signs and wonders to deceive nations and cause them to worship the first beast. This points to fallen Protestants denominations that will combine with the world governments and the papacy to enforce false worship. Fortunately however, not all will be misled, there will be a group that will gain “victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name” Revelation 15:2