All the bolded portions are mine.

Dec. 25, 1999, 9:10PM
Pope urges repentance in the new millennium
Yule address ushers in Holy Year 2000
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY New York Times
ROME -- On the first day of the Holy Year 2000, Pope John Paul II delivered a Christmas speech Saturday that called for repentance in the new millennium.
"We must, however, confess that humanity has sometimes sought the truth elsewhere, invented false certainties, and chased after deceptive ideologies," said the pope in his traditional Christmas urbi et orbi (to the city and the world) address from his balcony at St. Peter's Basilica.
"At times, people have refused to respect and love their brothers of a different faith or race, they have denied fundamental rights to individuals and nations."
The frail 79-year-old pope, who on Christmas Eve pushed open the holy door to St. Peter's, the symbol of the beginning of a holy year -- or jubilee, has long urged his followers to use the millennium jubilee to redress personal wrongs and the misdeeds of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries.
Saturday's words served as a prelude for the kind of soul-searching in which he intends to lead the church throughout 2000. He said believers should be "pilgrims in time" and remember past horrors. "We visit all the places of grief and war, the resting places of victims of brutal conflicts and cruel slaughter," he said.
For John Paul II, this Christmas had a special significance, as it marks what the church views as the 2,000th anniversary of Christ's birth and the start of a holy year that is the first one at the turn of a millennium. "This year, there is yet another reason that makes more holy this day of grace," the pope said. "It is the beginning of the great jubilee."
In St. Peter's Square, tens of thousands of believers applauded and cheered. Earlier, thousands of the faithful passed through the bronze holy door that is kept bricked up until a jubilee. Many of them made signs of the cross and kissed the sculpted panels during their procession. A jubilee, which now takes place every 25 years, dates back to 1300, when Pope Boniface VIII urged pilgrims to visit Rome when the Crusades made traveling to the Holy Land too dangerous. Now, as then, believers make the pilgrimage to seek a plenary indulgence, a remittance of punishment for sins, which can be earned by a pilgrimage to Rome or other holy sites."
 
"So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." - Ezekiel 33:7-9

"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; " - Titus 1:9-13

 

Let's look a little closer at the Revelation 17.

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns...Revelation17:1-7.

 

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.." Revelation 17:9.

 

"And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Revelation 17:15.

 

"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Revelation 17:18.

 

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Revelation18:1-7.

 

And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." Revelation 18:24.

 

Interpretations-

"The great whore that sitteth upon many waters" = "the waters... are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Historical, what church can and does claim such "catholicity" among so many nations of the world?

 

"Having seven heads" = "the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth". Which church, claiming global catholicity, is also situated at a city known for being surrounded by seven hills?

 

"No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills. Pagan poets and orators, who had no thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterized it as 'the seven hilled city.' Thus Virgil refers to it" 'Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.' Propertius, in the same strain, speaks of it (only adding another trait, which completes the Apocalyptic picture) as 'the lofty city on seven hills, which govern the whole world.' It's 'governing the whole world' is just the counterpart of the Divine statement - 'which reigneth over the kings of the earth' (Rev. xvii.18). To call Rome the city 'of the seven hills' was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name." -Rev. Alexander Hislop, "The Two Babylons", pg 2.

 

"I will shew unto thee... the great whore...: and I saw a woman" = "The woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."

 

"The Roman Catholic Church... in fact... has been deeply involved in the politics of Europe. When the Papal states existed (754-1870), these were as genuinely political as the kingdoms of France and Spain... The popes were unable to draw a real distinction between their spiritual sovereignty and their temporal sovereignty, and without scruple, it often seemed, they used the Papal States to support the authority of the church - or more frequently - the church to support the power of the Papal States. Many of the maneuvers can now be seen to have been abuses of power when that happened. This has meant that the structure of Roman Catholic power over the centuries took on the features of the political sovereignty normal in the Middle Ages and in early modern times." - Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1984, vol. 15, page 986.

 

Furthermore, then, what religious system which is situated on a seven-hilled city, comes close to the claim of reigning over the kings of the earth, as the Roman Catholic church can? There are no Moslems, no Protestants, no Buddhists, no Hindus, THERE IS NO other religious sect of any "faith" or belief that comes close to claiming to have any influence over the kings of the earth, as does the Roman Catholic Church. No religious system in the world can be compared to this passage in Revelation as exactly as can the Roman Catholic Church.

 

See these references:

"The Roman popes not only based their claim to form and lead their own church state on a spiritual-secular judicial understanding but they also created a theocracy within areas that until then were part of the provinces of the Byzantine emperor. They renounced a number of former imperial rights and claimed them for themselves. They extended the secular claim of government of the church beyond the borders of the church-state and developed the so-called theory of the two swords, stating that Christ gave the Pope not only spiritual power over the church but also secular power over the worldly kingdoms." - Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1984, Vol. 4, pages 511-512.

 

"The Apocalyptic emblem of the harlot woman with the cup in her hands was even embodied in the symbols of idolatry derived from ancient Babylon... for thus was the Greek Venus originally represented... the Roman church has actually taken this very same symbol as her own chosen emblem. In 1825, on the occasion of the Jubilee, Pope Leo XII struck a medal, bearing on one side his own image, and on the other, that of the Church of Rome symbolized as a 'Woman,' holding in her left hand a cross, and in her right a cup, with the legend around her, 'Sedet super universum' 'The whole world is her seat.' (Fig. 2)." - The Two Babylons, By Rev. Alexander Hislop, Loizeaux Brothers, page 6.

 

"It was a matter, therefor, of necessity, if idolatry were to be brought in, and especially such foul idolatry as the Babylonian system contained in it's bosom, that it would be done stealthily and in secret. Thus the people, wherever the Babylonian system spread, were bound neck and heel to the priests. The priests were the only depositories of religious knowledge; they only had the true tradition, by which the writs and symbols of the public religion could be interpreted; and without blind and implicit submission to them, what was necessary for salvation could not be known. Now compare this with the early history of the Papacy... and how exact was the coincidence!" - The Two Babylons, By Rev. Alexander Hislop, Loizeaux Brothers, page 7.

 

"As the Chaldean priests were believed alone to possess the key to understanding of the Mythology of Babylon, a key handed down to them from primeval antiquity, so the priests of Rome set up to be the sole interpreters of Scripture... The church in this way could shape its faith as it pleased. As possessing supreme authority, also, over faith, they could let out little or much, as they judged most expedient... as essential a principle in the system of Babylon, as it is in Romanism or Tractarianism at this day." - The Two Babylons, By Rev. Alexander Hislop, Loizeaux Brothers, page 11.

 

"Nimrod, the king and founder of Babylon, was not only its political leader, he was its religious leader also. He was a priest-king. From him descended a line of priest-kings- each standing as the head of the occult Babylonian mystery religion. This line continued on down to the days of Belshazzar of whom we read in the Bible... When Rome conquered the world, the paganism that had spread from Babylon and developed in various nations, was merged into the religious system of pagan Rome. This included the idea of a supreme pontiff (Pontifex Maximus), an office that began to be held by the Caesers in 63 BC." --Babylon Mystery Religion, by Ralph Woodrow, page 71.

 

"The Roman emperors (including Constantine) continued to hold the office of Pontifex Maximus until 376 when Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. He recognized this title and office as idolatrous and blasphemous. In 378, Demasus, bishop of Rome, was elected the Pontifex Maximus- the high priest of the mysteries! But how could a man be at one and the same time both the head of the church and the Pontifex Maximus, the head of the pagan mysteries? In an attempt to cover this discrepancy, church leaders sought for similarities between the two religions. They knew if they could find even a few points that each side had in common, both could be merged into one, for by this time most were not concerned about details. They desired numbers and political power. Truth was secondary. One striking similarity was that the supreme pontiff of paganism bore the Chaldean title Peter or interpreter- the interpreter of the mysteries." --Babylon Mystery Religion, by Ralph Woodrow, page 72.

 

Revelation 18:1-4 - "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

 

Here in Revelation Jesus condemns the Roman Catholic Church, calling her, and thereby very specifically identifying her, by her very own ancient, and unique nickname and trademark: "the City of Seven Hills."


Obviously, then the Roman Catholic Church is the Great Whore mentioned in Revelations. See again - Revelation 17:9 "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth."

 

There is no other city in the world that is known specifically as the city of seven hills as Rome is. And if that isn't enough, see Revelation 17:18 - "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." What other religion, known by the city from which it reigns, rules over the kings of the earth?

 

We have never seen Presidents, kings and Prime Ministers clamoring to any other religious leaders than to Rome, have we?