Answering Tough Questions
 
 
The triple crown of the papacy.  Source: Great Controversy Picture CD, LLT Productions.

Q: I wish to contact Walter Veith to find out where he got the picture of the pope’s tiara (not mitre) cause it would be the only one in existence since I have yet to find one anywhere. I am not disagreeing with him about the pope but he claims that it is on the tiara but the last claim of it being worn was in 1845 by eyewitnesses but no pictures exist.

A: We do not have a picture of the original tiara of the pope, however a scholar by the name of Koot Van Wyk has done much research on this issue.

Letter from Koot Van Wyk

Three points:

1. It is not really important whether the Vicarius filii dei was written on the tiara or not. It is the core of the RCC’s theology of the Eucharist and priest’s role in it.
2. Here is a site of someone who argues for the tiara photos. www.aloha.net/~mikesch/666.htm
3. A new book on 666 by prof. Edwin de Kock of Texas, The Truth about 666, available through Amazing Discoveries, discusses these things in historical detail. In the meantime here are some of my own comments on it and you may want to look at the following site with more of my comments on the aspects. www.egw.org

It is claimed by four well-known scholars in Adventism that 666 no longer represents the title VICARIUS FILII DEI. Van Wyk looks at some evidence from John Paul II’s book in 1994. According to advertisements of CD sales by one of four scholars, it was Rodriquez in a Sabbath quarterly that opened the way for their “symbolic view of the number 666”. Many claim that it is no longer part of the Seventh Day Adventist belief. Nothing can be further from the truth. And here are some of the many reasons why:

Source: Pope John Paul II’s BOOK: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994), chapter: “The Pope”: A Scandal And A Mystery

Excerpt 1: QUESTION of A Young Catholic To The Pope
Theme: Why Do People Call You Vicarius Filii Dei = Vicarius Iesu Christi?
“Confronted with the Pope, one must make a choice. The leader of the Catholic Church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who represents the Son of God, who “takes the place” of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.”

Excerpt 2: ANSWER Of Pope John Paul II
Theme: Don’t Stress When People Call Me Vicarius Christi
“Have no fear when people call me the “Vicar of Christ,” when they say to me “Holy Father,” or “Your Holiness,” or use titles similar to these, which seem even inimical to the Gospel. Christ himself declared: “Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah” (Mt 23:9-10). These expressions, nevertheless, have evolved out of a long tradition, becoming part of common usage. One must not be afraid of these words either.”

Excerpt 3: ANSWER of Pope John Paul II
Theme: Return To Issue Of Vicarius Christi
“Once again, concerning names: The Pope is called the “Vicar of Christ.” This title should be considered within the entire context of the Gospel. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus said to the apostles: “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). Though invisible, He is personally present in His Church. He is likewise present in each Christian, by virtue of baptism and the other sacraments. It was usual to say, as early as the era of the Fathers, “Christianus alter Christus” (“The Christian is another Christ”), meaning by this to emphasize the dignity of the baptized and his vocation, through Christ, to holiness. Furthermore, Christ brings about a special presence in every priest, who, when celebrating the Eucharist or administering the sacraments, does so in persona Christi.”

Excerpt 4: ANSWER of Pope John Paul II
Theme: Not Only Pope Is Vicarius Christi, All Functionaries Are = Its A Functionary Title
“The Pope is not the only one who holds this title. With regard to the Church entrusted to him, each bishop is Vicarius Christi. The Pope is Vicar of Christ with regard to the Church of Rome and, through that Church, of every Church in communion with it-a communion in faith as well as an institutional and canonical communion. Thus, if with this title one wants to refer to the dignity of the Bishop of Rome, one cannot consider it apart from the dignity of the entire college of bishops, with which it is tightly bound, as it is to the dignity of each bishop, each priest, and each of the baptized.”

Van Wyk Notes:

  1. In the following site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicarius_Filii_Dei) there is a wrongful conclusion by the non-SDA contributor that in the above book the pope is not saying that he is VICARIUS FILII DEI. Biblical mathematics and logic cannot take us any other course than saying, whether he used the exact words VICARIUS FILII DEI or whether he is using the words VICARIUS IESU CHRISTI or whether he is using the words VICARIUS CHRISTI or whether he is using CHRISTIANUS ALTER CHRISTUS, my logic says, they are all under the umbrella of VICARIUS FILII DEI. It is established Catholic doctrine that the Son of God is Christ and that these two expressions are used interchangeably. The writer in that site tries to say that in the phrase, “The Pope is considered the man on earth who represents the Son of God” [see EXCERPT I of the question of the young man to the pope], that the word is not a NOUN but a VERB not “representative” but “representing”. It does not matter which one it is. The Biblical doctrine of Christ is that the Holy Spirit was promised to be the representative of Christ on earth not the papal system or priestly functionaries. The only VICAR OF CHRIST is the Holy Spirit. He did not say, “When I leave, I will send to you the pope and priestly system that will abide with you”. All these terms stand under the forceful and logical numerical anagram of VICARIUS FILII DEI or 666, a number confirmed to be that way on the same site that tries to eliminate the papal image from it.

  2. “Seventh-day Adventist Church abandons claim” This statement of the writer in this site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicarius_Filii_Dei) is not true. The fact that a paragraph or two has slipped into a Sabbath-school quarterly five years ago by writer A. Rodriques, is his personal view and those of some professors known to this writer and many Adventists from Andrews University, but more than 99% of Adventist Bible instructors around the world are still teaching this doctrine. The Adventists are not saying any longer that the tiara has the number, and that is true, but that the 666 is no longer VICARIUS FILII DEI, would not be a correct observation. Note the catch words in the last sentence on the site --“any papal title” which will scoop up VICARIUS FILII DEI also. This statement is not true. It is not a minority that “tries to connect the pope” with this title.

  3. VICARIUS FILII DEI, as Pope John Paul II so eloquently explains in clear simple terms, is the theology of the mystical and superstitious key of salvation in the service of the Eucharist-shamanism embodied in every priestly function of that church as the only way to salvation, since they represent Christ through the handling of the magical bread and wine on earth. That theology is VICARIUS FILII DEI and that is 666, undoubtedly.

  4. We have nothing to fear, lest we forget how God has led us in the past.

For an excellent overview of the controversy over the Vicarius Filii Dei title, see the book: Vicarius Filii Dei - An Annotated Timeline by Jerry A. Stevens. You can order it from our webstore at: very scum of Paris, dancing, singing, and screaming for blood. At a distant window overlooking the scene, stood the king, accompanied by a number of priests, who had brought him there to witness the execution.” Madame de Lunz, by a refinement of cruelty, was reserved unto the last. The two men were placed on the pile before her, and burned to death. As the flames seized their bodies already weakened by pain and loss of blood they gave utterance to the most piercing shrieks, and writhed in horrible agony. Madame de Lunz all this while maintained her firmness unshaken. Shutting her eyes to the tortures of her companions, she found comfort and support in earnest prayer. At length her turn came. Two of the executioners approaching her, seized her roughly in their arms, tearing her clothing from her as they did so, and shamefully exposing her person. Holding her in their arms they thrust her feet into the glowing coals of the pile on which her companions had died, and held them there until they were burnt through to the bone. Then reversing her position they placed her head downward, and held her so until her scalp was burned off and her eyes scorched out. Even then she was alive, and was supporting her sufferings with heaven-given strength. Finding that they had not killed her, and being sickened with their horrid work, the wretches strangled her, and threw her body into the flames, which soon consumed it. That night the priests boasted throughout Paris that they had sent another heretic to hell. It was a boast worthy of its authors. But theirs were not the only thanks that ascended to heaven for the martyrdom of the brave woman and her companions. The prayers of the Church for which she had died were full of thanksgivings for that God, in His infinite mercy, had seen fit to give them the example of her life and death, that those who were left behind might be encouraged by it to be true to their duty even though it should lead them to a similar fate.

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