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Pope, German, Roman Empire connection

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Submitted by John 8:32 (United States), Apr 16, 2006 at 12:14

Europe has had a long and fascinating history. A very large part of all that has happened on the continent, over the many centuries, has been the result of the relationship between two very powerful and influential rulers. Sometimes they were steadfast allies, at other times they were bitter enemies, but together the Germanic kings in north-central Europe, and the Roman Catholic Popes at The Vatican in Rome (and elsewhere) eventually formed the "Holy Roman Empire."

On February 2, 962, Pope John XII crowned Otto I as the Holy Roman Emperor. When Otto succeeded his father Heinrich (Henry) as German king in 936, the people raised their right hand to show approval and shouted "Sieg und heil" ("victory and salvation"). Most historians view 962 as the beginning of what would later officially be known as the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanica ("the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation") - the First Reich.

Over the centuries, there has been a see-saw struggle between the German, or Austrian, Holy Roman emperor and the Pope as to who was the actual ruler of the empire. To summarize their respective claims of superiority -

* The Popes claimed leadership by saying that the empire was merely the political arm of the church, established and maintained by "God and the Papacy." Under this arrangement, the emperor was answerable to the Pope who could dispose of the king at will - a situation that actually occurred a number of times.

* The Imperial Frankish theory claimed that the emperor had the leadership (which fits exactly with the prophecy of end-time events) because the "divine" emperor (some of the emperors actually claimed to be God - absolute blasphemy) had a direct responsibility to God, and that the Pope was merely the emperor's "prophet" between God and the empire. The emperors claimed the right to appoint or dispose of popes at will - a situation that also actually occurred a number of times.

Germany 1870-1918 2nd Reich
1933-45 3rd Reich Hitler resurrects the hail Caesar or Sieg Heil salute and declares a 1000 year Reich... All Hitler's hunchmen were Roman Catholics..Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Eichmann. Obviously Pope Pius knew what he was doing. Question: I wonder how many people during 1939-45 thought Hitler was the anti-christ?

Present day:
After a long career as a Hitler Youth and making declarations against the evil commonly known as homosexuality, Joseph Ratzinger has been elected as the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Taking his papal name of Pope Benedict XVI, he becomes the first German in almost a thousand years, and the first former-Nazi ever, to hold the position of Pope.

Maybe we better start practicing goose steps and extending our right arms out straight while shouting "Sieg Heil!" three times?.
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