Rise of a ‘warrior pope’ and the quest for geopolitical supremacy

The past tells us that the same plot that brought about a 1260-year extremist papal reign in unravelling right before our eyes. History is about to repeat itself

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Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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BY ANDY OJODEH

The rise of Pope Francis’ popularity and influence in both the political and religious circles parallels a similar trajectory followed by Alexander the Great after defeating Darius Codomanus, last king of the Persians. This was a catapult for the young ruler who eventually conquered the whole world but died an ignominious death at the prime of his youth, according to historian Edward Gibbon.

The experience by Darius in B.C. 331 is echoed by France’s last King, Louis-Philippe, who, at a time when he believed his seat was most secure, was met by a revolution led by French citizens, resulting in his abdication in 1848, after which he fled to Great Britain. What followed was the establishment of The Second Republic. The rise of these rulers would not be possible had they not overcome certain walls. Persia, under Cyrus had to overcome Babylon. Alexander had to overcome Persia, and the French throne under Clovis I had to overcome the Arborici, Brittany, the Burgundians and the Visigoths.

The conversion of Clovis, King of France, to Roman Catholicism is cited as the main catalyst of the fall of the Arian tribes. The papacy, through Clovis brought the downfall of the tribes.  Similarly, the rise of the papacy in 538 AD was possible only through the union between Justinian I, Emperor of Eastern Rome, and the papacy. With the help of Justinian I, the Gothic tribe was wiped out of existence after a failed siege by the Ostrogoths. The papacy was able to exercise its religious and political powers conferred to it by Justinian I.
The question may arise as to the relevance of these and many other events that have taken place but the essence of this is that history is cyclic. Can we locate similar parallels in this post-Industrial society of a union between Catholicism and a State to achieve a common goal?

Alliance between state and church
If we focus on the collapse of Communism in 1989, it is interesting to note that Time Magazine published a cover story on June 24th 2001 titled The Holy Alliance. The story reviewed how on June 7, 1982, in the Vatican Library, an alliance between Pope John Paul II and the then American President Ronald Reagan was reached to “hasten dissolution of the Communist empire”. The operation focused on Poland, the birth place of John Paul II.
Seven years later, with the help of America, the fall of communism was sealed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The destruction of the Wall marked the removal of a monumental obstacle in the papacy’s latter day rise to power. A union between church and state, realising shared interests.

Several decades later, on September, 2015, another historic milestone occurred when Pope Francis became the first Pope to address the United States Congress. In reaction, a Huffington Post article by Howard Fineman on the September 24 titled “Pope Francis wants to be President of the World” pithily stated:

…As devout as he is, and as focused on the faith and practice of the Catholic Church, Francis is also campaigning to lead public, secular, political discourse worldwide. He is arguing that the two realms of faith and politics are one, and that the moral and spiritual teachings of faith should inform and guide political decisions for “our common home.”

Papal agenda
Looking back to the history of Justinian and Clovis, Faith and politics becoming one has led to war that favours the agenda of the popes. The longest war that has been fought by the same system was from 538 AD to 1798 where the Pope was in reality the President of the world. “The Actes and Monument”, also popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, records Protestant history. The author graphically detailed how martyrs were faced with all manner of persecutions for failing to heed the instructions of the Popes. These persecutions gave rise to Puritans and Pilgrims who sought refuge in the Americas.

In 1798, through the intervention of Berthier, the French General, the papal Government was brought to a halt after 1260 years of rule.

The papacy had subjected those that refuse to yield or recant their convictions to the penalty of death or torture. This inflicted a wound on the papal government. But as we have it now, the wound is being healed and the papacy once again is rising to power, yielding its geopolitical sword as a skilled “Samurai” preparing to bring down its final wall and regain its seat as President of the world. Will history repeat itself?

History has the answer.

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