These are two fears often mentioned on the far right, especially with regard to Pope Francis. They are afraid that he is trying to turn the Catholic Religion into one religion that encompasses all belief systems. The other fear is that the Pope is in favor of a single government to rule the world. These two ideas — One World Government (OWG) and One World Religion (OWR) — have their basis in misunderstandings of eschatology (End Times theology).
Now it is true that, in the distant future, when the Antichrist takes power, he will conquer the whole world, joining all governments under his sole authority. This will be a One World Government, with the Antichrist as the sole ruler.
Previous to the rise to power of the Antichrist, the world will be divided into ten world governments, each with its own ruler. This concept is called the kingdom of the ten kings. It is mentioned by a number of Saints interpreting the book of Daniel and/or the book of Revelation. The ten kings are also mentioned by the Blessed Virgin Mary in the secrets of La Salette. Since the world is not so divided, we are not near the time of the Antichrist.
In addition, the End Times is divided into the lesser and greater tribulation, with an inter-tribulation period of a few hundred years between them. Since the first part of the tribulation (lesser) has not yet occurred, and the Antichrist has his reign only in the second part of the tribulation, the Antichrist is not in the world today. His reign, his one world government, is in the distant future.
And therefore, Francis-haters, the Pope is not going to establish a one world government. There’s not Antichrist in the world; the Pope is not associated with the Antichrist; and there will be many governments in the world for a long time yet.
As for the One World Religion, this also does not occur until the reign of the Antichrist. He begins as the ruler of one of the ten kingdoms. He consolidates power in his own kingdom. Then he makes war against the Christian king of the South (a kingdom that includes the holy Land). He wins by betrayal, leaving both militaries largely intact. Then he negotiates with the kings of the next two most powerful kingdoms, and by betrayal and deception, he takes control of their kingdoms as well. At this point, the Antichrist controls the four most powerful of the ten kingdoms, and the other six agree to submit to his will. So the kingdom of the ten kings becomes a kingdom with only 7 rulers over 10 kingdoms. This is the so-called beast with 7 heads and ten horns. The beast is the kingdom of the Antichrist.
Once the Antichrist becomes rule of the world, he proclaims himself to be god. He orders all houses of worship (churches, temples, mosques) to be closed. All religions, other than his, are outlawed. Anyone who refuses to worship him is put to death. Areas of the world attempt to rebel, and are put down by military force.
Then, about midway into his reign, the false prophetess suggests to him that he would better obtain the worship of the world with a formal structure to his religion. Together, they devise a false religion for the Antichrist, which takes, adapts, and perverts elements from all the world religions — Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, as well as from the other world religions (which at that point will be long past) — to devise his own religion. So the religion of the Antichrist is a synchronism of all world religions into one, but with the perversion that they worship the Antichrist, rather than God or gods or what is divine, and that they worship evil, rather than good.
Prior to the Antichrist, there will be no one world religion. The kingdom of the ten kings largely rejects religion. Christianity will be persecuted and Christians will be hated, just as Jesus predicted: “And you will be hated by all nations for the sake of my name.” (Mt 24:9). As time passes, leading up to the time of the Antichrist, the world becomes hateful toward all religions. The only religions which remain will be Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Islam will become the most prominent religion; Judaism will be a distant second; Christianity will be the least of the three. Other religions will not survive to that point in time. Then there will be many persons who adhere to various odd ideas in spirituality, without formal religion. But most persons in that future time will be entirely secular, selfish, sinful. Their unmet need for true religion, combined with their sinfulness, will make them vulnerable to the false Savior who is the Antichrist.
So the one world government and the one world religion are of the Antichrist, and only occur during his reign. Prior to that time, no one succeeds in conquering the whole world, and certainly there is nothing like a single religion forced upon the whole world by that one government.
And this brings us back to Pope Saint Francis I ….that is… I mean Pope Francis. There is no danger whatsoever that there will be a one world government from the weak and nearly powerless United Nations. There is no danger that any nation will conquer the world, though attempts will be made between now and that future time. There is no danger that a one world government will impose a one world religion that is an amalgam of all the religions of the world. And neither Pope Saint John Paul II or Pope Francis praying with other religious leaders is anything like a one world religion.
So these claims, fears, and conspiracy theories about Pope Francis, the United Nations, various nations and world leaders, and the one world government or one world religion are entirely false. Those ideas apply only to the Antichrist in the distant future.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Great post, Ron!