Vance Ferrell

Although astonishing, It Is true. In 1977, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists presented a gold medallion to Pope Paul VI, as an expression of our close friendship with the Papal States.

Bert Beverly Beach has been our ecumenical liaison with the other denominations since at least 1965, when he became a member of a World Council of Churches committee. He made the presentation.

The inferior gives gold to the superior. This is what the nations of earth have done for centuries as they journeyed to the Tiber; now we have followed in their course. It is a defiling act to render a gold present to the man of sin, the son of perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Dr. Beach, our representative, in an audience with the pope, knelt in obeisance, and offered our fealty to the antichrist (1 John 2:18; 4:3,7).

The engraving on this medallion is unusual in several ways:

On the front side of this medal (the obverse (front) side is always the side portraying a person) is shown a Christ standing on a cloud from whence issue thunderbolts. The thunderbolt was a favorite symbol of the mystery religions and of the medieval papacy. In the mysteries it was a symbol of Satan, and issued forth from his cloud. The papal crosier is a thunderbolt curling out of a cloud. The medallion cloud has nine bolts. It is significant that, as in the mysteries, the bolts come from the cloud, not from the man.

The christ in this representation is standing on the summit of a mountain, with the cloud and its thunderbolts in front of his feet. The true Christ will not touch the earth when He returns. As portrayed in Protestant and Roman Catholic artwork, the false christ will land on the earth. The thunderbolts before him identifies him for who he is. The angels are facing toward and worshiping this christ, after he has arrived on earth, rather than being shown as, with him, facing the earth as they come toward it. There are eight angels. Eight is the symbol of the Sunday, ever since pseudo-Barnabus proclaimed it so less than fifty years after the Bible was completed. (He said we should keep holy the eighth day, not the seventh.) The Christ in Revelation 1:16 had seven stars; this christ has six on each side of him.

This christ is shown in the typical Catholic stance, with outstretched arms, as are many of their saint Idol statues. The Vatican painting of Francis de Assisi portrays him in the same posture. This Christ has no crown on his head; the one in Revelation 19:12 does. The pope has a triple crown; this Christ has none; he too is symbolically inferior to the pope.

The reverse side (back) of this medallion features the Ten) Commandments, an empty cross, an unnamed book, and all founded on a Maltese cross.

This Maltese cross, beneath the book, is a special Vatican symbol. Typically, this has four equal rays flowing outward from a central sun. Each ray expands in width as it radiates outward and terminates in two horns, producing an eight pointed cross. It is thus a sun symbol in two way (the radiating sun, and the eight points).

The tenth commandment is hidden, for Catholicism claims it has been split in two. The Sabbath commandment reads in a manner acceptable to all Christendom, for it does not identify it as the seventh day. Catholic catechisms have changed the fourth commandment to merely a variation of the wording given on this medallion.

The following information is reprinted from our ten part Ecumenical study, Hands Across the Gulf Part 7, and now to be found in our tract book on Ecumenism.



 Well, I must say that this relationship shocked me deeply when I learned about it. Knowledge of our relationship with World Council of Churches has been extant for several years. -But the thought that we might try to follow the path of Billy Graham and unite more closely with Catholic organizations was something unexpected.

A number of you may be aware that on May 18,1977, Dr. Bert Beverly Beach, Secretary at that time of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, presented a gold medal to the pope of Rome, Paul VI.

Of course, the very idea that our leaders would, on behalf of our denomination, give an official present of gold to the pope is very shocking by itself. But the less-known portion of this transaction is actually far more significant-and far more shocking, -when we stop to consider its implications.

 For the reason that Dr. B. B. Beach was present on that occasion was due to the fact that he was there as a participating member of the "World Confessional Families."

Commenting on the occasion of this joint interview with the pope, Religious News Service said that this gathering marked the ninth year in which our denomination had been members of the "World Confessional Families."

"The Vatican Secretariat for the Christian Unity of the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference (Secretaries of the World Confessional Families) in 1968."

We have been told that God's peculiar people are to stand as monuments in the world, exposing the man of sin (TM 118; Ev. 195), and that the man of sin is the papacy! (GC 446; AA 265,266; TM 140; 7BC 911)

"The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!" -Great Controversy, page 563.

"It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy."-Signs, February 19, 1894.

The following documentary analysis was recently sent to us, but I do not have the source from whence it was taken. From its appearance, it probably was published in an anti-Catholic publication. There are a number of journals, which see the great danger in yielding historic Bible truths for the sake of friendship with Rome. However, this particular article must have been written by an Adventist.

You will note that included here is a careful facsimile photograph of the obverse and reverse of this gold medal that B. B. Beach presented in May 1977 to Pope Paul VI.

We are very sorry that this event took place. Apparently not everyone was disappointed, for not too long afterward, Dr. Beach was elevated to a position at the General Conference in Washington D.C.

Why was Dr. Beach selected by our Church as the one to present the gold medal to the pope? This is something of a puzzler, until one recalls that it was Dr. B. B. Beach who coauthored that major document, "So Much in Common" only four years earlier in Geneva, Switzerland with Dr. Lukas Vischer, Secretary of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. As a result of that publication, so little known to Adventist church members, Dr. Beach became well known to leading ecumenists of the other denominations.

The "Review" for August 11,1977, in briefly commenting on this gift, said that the gold medal was a "medallion" and "a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. "

Examining this "symbol" of the Adventist Church more closely, we find that the obverse (the front side of the gold medal) portrays the resurrection Christ -not the mediating Christ nor the returning Christ. This is a typical Protestant Catholic centrality, for they focus their Sunday-keeping on Christ's resurrection morn, more than any other event in His life, before or after.

The reverse has a representation of the Ten Commandments. But here we find that the fourth of the ten is only but a call to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Unfortunately, we are here again on Sunday-keeping ground. There is a vast difference between remembering to keep the sabbath - and remembering to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath. The Sunday "sabbath" is regularly kept, of sorts, by Protestants and Catholics around the world. A careful reading of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi's book (published by the Gregoriana in Rome in 1975 and imprimatured that year as good reading for every faithful Catholic by R.P. Herve Carrier, S. I. [Society of Jesus = Jesuit], Rector of the Gregorian University at Rome) will reveal that he, Bacchiocchi, there explains the importance of all the Christian religions -both Protestant and Catholic-- in faithfully keeping holy their "sabbath."

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" is what is printed on the back of the gold medal. But this statement only matches the wording of the "third commandment" (after the ten were changed by the pope (Daniel 7:25) as it now reads in any standard Roman Catholic catechism!

When the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath Commandment, what did they changed it to? THEY CHANGED IT TO THE EXACT WORDING GIVEN ON THE BACK OF THE GOLD MEDAL THAT BEACH, ON BEHALF OF THE ADVENTIST CHURCH, PRESENTED TO THE POPE IN 1977! Nothing has been added and nothing left out it is the exact wording of the Sabbath Commandment as given in standard Roman Catholic catechisms.

And from Bacchiocchi's book, we can clearly see that - "keeping the sabbath" -can be a great unifying force to unite Protestants and Catholics as we see clearly predicted for the near future in the book "Great Controversy."

But back to the original point of this section: Just what IS the "World Confessional Families"?

On page 100-101 of their book, "So Much in Common:' Beach and Vischer list nine ways in which Seventh-day Adventist involvement in the World Council of Churches has been of benefit. In the section dealing with this book, "So Much in Common:' we have considered these benefits.

But one of them was especially significant: Our affiliation in the WCC has brought our Church, officially, into the "World Confessional Families."

But what is the World Confessional Families? It sounds Catholic. At this point, all that this writer knows is this:

1- "So Much in Common," p. 100-101, tells us that it was our association with the WCC that brought us into the WCF:

"5. Participation in Meeting of World Confessional Families-Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of 'Secretaries of World Confessional Families.' This participation is largely the result of WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly. It is hoped that expanded cooperation will ensure between the World Confessional Families in the vital realm of religious liberty." "So Much in Common," pp. 100-101.

2- The Religious News Service reported on B. B. Beach's audience with the pope (Pope Paul VI on May 18, 1977. In this wire service report, the RNS made this important comment: "The Vatican Secretariat for the Christian Unity of the [Faith reports that?] Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference (Secretaries of the World Confessional Families) in 1968." This RNS analysis provided additional information on the reason that B. B. Beach may have been at the Vatican, when he gave the gold medal to the pope. This reason would be the fact that the "Secretaries" of the World Confessional Families were there for a special meeting.

3- The "Review" report of this gold-medal presentation said this:

"In connection with a recent consultative meeting of secretaries of World Confessional Families held in Rome, B. B. Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, one of the 15 participants and the only Adventist in the group, presented a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18. Review August 11 1977, p. 23.

From the above information we can know that our Church gained membership in the "World Confessional Families" through our involvement with the WCC, and that this WCF is either a subsidiary of the Roman Catholic Church, or the Catholic Church is a member of it.

Apparently, then, the likelihood is that the WCF is a department of the WCC or an agency of the Roman Catholic Church. "

4-Several days ago, this writer telephoned the U.S. headquarters of the World Council of Churches, and inquired about this. I was told by an "information officer" that there was no record in his files of any subsidiary of the WCC that was titled the "World Confessional Families." He said that I could write Geneva [Switzerland, the WCC world headquarters], if I wished. I asked if he, himself, did not have whatever information they would have on this subject. He agreed, and then referred me to the National Council of Churches headquarters for further information.

I phoned them and their "information officer" told me that the World Confessional Families was not a part of the National Council of Churches, and, to their knowledge, not of the World Council of Churches. He then referred me to the WCC "information officer" for further information. But, of course, I had already telephoned him.

Therefore, we can know that the "World Confessional families" is not a subsidiary of the NCC or the WCC. It would then seem likely that this organization, the WCF, is a part of the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps some researching individual out there can find out what the "World Confessional Families" is.

In view of the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has some kind of membership in it, and takes part in its regular meetings, Seventh-day Adventists ought to know the identity of this organization that they have membership in! And in view of the fact that our association with the WCF led us to a special meeting of its Secretariat in Rome, we ought to know what the WCF is: And since this Vatican meeting necessitated the gift of treasure to the pope himself, we ought to know what is the 'World Confessional Families, who got us into it, why we are there, what it is costing us in terms of doctrinal conformity; and, last but not least, we need to begin considering ways to get out of all these ecumenical and worldly organizations. I am thankful that we have Revelation 12 to 14 and the Spirit of Prophecy, aren't you?


AUDIENCE WITH POPE PAUL VI -By Official  Representative of the SDA Church.

On May 18,1977, Dr. B. B. Beach, Secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, with other representatives of the religious bodies which form the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families had an audience with Pope Paul VI. The Pope welcomed these men as "representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people". Elder W. Duncan Eva, a vice president of the Gen. Conference of the SDA Church, reported that on this occasion, Dr. Beach presented the Pope a medallion which "was a goldcovered symbol of the SDA Church (Review, Aug. 11, 1977, p. 23) Dr. Beach  noted that the audience with the Pope marked the first time in history that the SDA Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff."

In 1973, the World Council of Churches (WCC) published a paperback book entitled SO MUCH IN COMMON. This book contained "Documents of Interest in the Conversations Between the World Council of Church and the SDA Church...From the Catholic viewpoint, there is no question but they considered B.B. Beach as speaking for the SDA Church in an official capacity.

Religious News Service in its report of the audience with the pope noted; The Vatican Secretariat of the Christian Unity of the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference (Secretaries of the World Confessional Families) in 1968.  

Book, Medallion Presented to Pope

REVIEW -AUGUST 11. 1977 (847) 23

In connection with a recent consultative meeting of secretaries of World Confessional Families held in Rome, B. B. Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, one of the 15 participants and the only Adventist in the group, presented a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18.

The book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action, and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh Adventist Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible, and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. While the other commandments are represented simply as Roman numerals. the words of the fourth- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" are written out.

The Conference of World Confessional Families usually meets once a year. It is not an organization, but an informal, unstructured forum for consultation and the exchange of useful information.  W. D. EVA


PLEASE write and ask our leaders to publicly, in the pages of the Adventist Review, repudiate the 1977 gold medal gift (above), and the 1976 statement and the 1990 petition to the Vatican (see below). We cannot recall the past but we can repudiate it. Ask them to go on record reaffirming our position toward Rome, as summarized in Great Controversy, chapters 2-3, 25, and 35.

1976 statement to a federal court:

"Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint. . that attitude on the church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century, and the latter part of the last, which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. "Neal C. Wilson, President of the North American Division of SDA, in statement (deposition) submitted to the court, Merikay McLeod lawsuit, EEOC vs PPPA, C-74-2025-CBR, docket entry #84, sworn statement dated February 6, 1976 [Emphasis ours].

1990 request for a Vatican observer to our delegated assembly:

Seventh-day Adventist faction from Tennessee mailed an unknown number of anti-Catholic booklets (primarily composed of quotations from the book, Great Controversy] the week of July 8 to homes in Indianapolis, where 2,000 (delegates] gathered for the denomination's 55th world convention, July 6-14.

"Shirley Burton, a spokesperson for the denomination, told the Indianapolis Star daily newspaper the tract was 'trash.' The pamphlet, United States in Prophecy, calls Catholicism a pagan religion and refers to the pope as a beast.

"John F. Fink, editor of the Criterion, Indianapolis archdiocesan newspaper (wrote this], 'The Seventh-day Adventists have a history of anti-Catholicism, like many other Protestant religions in the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the main body of the Church has moved away from an anti-Catholic position. The new position of co-operation with the Catholic Church was exemplified by the invitation from the Seventh-day Adventists to the Vatican to send an official observer to the conference.

Rev. Thomas J. Murphy, director of the Indianapolis archdiocesan office of ecumenism, acted as the Vatican observer. He addressed the conference on July 10. "Adventists Spread Anti-Catholic Tracts," Arkansas Catholic, July 29, 1990, p. 8. [Published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas; emphasis ours.]

Two "trash statements," the first about a change in our position toward Catholicism, the second about a change in our position toward Great Controversy. Please, please, I appeal to you! Pray, plead, and work to save our church!