Some may object that it is Rome, and not that small part of it known as Vatican City, which is built on seven hills, and that the Vatican can hardly be called a "great city." Though both objections are true, the words "Vatican" and "Rome" are universally used interchangeably. Just as one would refer to Washington and mean the government that runs the United States, so one refers to Rome and means the hierarchy that rules the Roman Catholic Church.
True, one MIGHT refer to Rome and mean the Vatican, but one might also mean the Italian Government or the Coleseum. We cannot assume, that just because someone says "Rome" that they autmatically mean the Vatican. Just like not every single reference to "Washington" is a reference to the White House or Capitol.
Take for example a placard carried by a demonstrator outside the November 15-18, 1993, meeting in Washington D.C. of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Protesting any deviation from the pope's wishes, it read: "ROME'S WAY OR THE HIGHWAY." (Our Sunday Visitor, December 5, 1993, p. 3.)0bviously by "Rome" it meant the Vatican. Such is the common usage, So closely are Catholicism and Rome linked that the Catholic Church is known as the Roman Catholic Church, or simply the Roman Church.
Now, this picture could have come from any number of sources, but he choose "Our Sunday Visitor" in order to use another Catholic source. In order to make it appear he heavily used Catholic sources in this work. His point is weak, the context makes it very clear what is meant by "Rome".
Moreover, for more than a thousand years the Roman Catholic Church exercised both religious and civil control over the entire city of Rome and its surroundings. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) abolished the secular Roman Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his command. The Roman Senate that had governed the city under the Caesars had been known as the Curia Romana (Roman Curia). That name, according to the Pocket Catholic Dictionary, is now the designation of "the whole ensemble of administrative and judicial offices through which the Pope directs the operations of the Catholic Church.(John A. Hardon, S.J., Pocket Catholic Dictionary (Image Books [Doubleday], 1985), p. 99.)
Now we got into false history. The Roman Senate disappeared from History around the 7th Century, the Popes had nothing to do with it. In the 12th Century, the Popes turned the administration of Rome over to City Magistrates with the power of (war and peace) Source But, his definition of the Roman Curia is correct, but it applies only to the highlighted passage. It is poor composition on his part not to separate his quote, someone might assume it applies to the entire passage. Which of course is his intent.
The popes' authority even extended to large territories outside Rome acquired in the eighth century. At that time, with the help of a deliberately fraudulent document manufactured for the popes known as The Donation of Constantine, Pope Stephen III convinced Pepin, king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, that territories recently taken by the Lombards from the Byzantines actually had been given to the papacy by the Emperor Constantine. Pepin routed the Lombards and handed to the pope the keys to some 20 cities (Ravenna, Ancona, Bologna, Ferrara, lesi, Gubbio, etc.) and the huge chunk of land joining them along the Adriatic coast.
Notice that in this paragraph there is not one single citation. Even though it is filled with "facts", every sentence should have a citation, but they don't. Why? Could it because there is little historical fact in it? Yes, Pepin conquered those territories and yes, he gave them to the Pope, but not because of the Donation of Constantine. Google, the "Donation of Pepin".
Dated 30 March 315, The Donation declared that Constantine had given these lands, along with Rome and the Lateran Palace, to the popes in perpetuity. In 1440 this document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla, a papal aide, and is so recognized by historians today. Yet allegedly infallible popes continued for centuries to assert that The Donation was genuine and on that basis to justify their pomp, power, and possessions. That fraud is still perpetuated by an inscription in the baptistry of Rome's St. John Lateran, which has never been corrected.
Once again, Popes are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Being suckered by a good forgery makes them human, nothing else. And as for the inscription, it reads:
MARTYRIBUS XPI DNI VOTA JOHANNES
REDDIDIT ANTISTES SANCTIFICANTE DEO
AC SACRI FONTIS SIMILI FULGENTE METALLO
PROVIDUS INSTANTER HOC COPULAVIT OPUS
QUO QUISQUIS GRADIENS ET XPM PRONUS ADORANS
John, bishop by God's consecration, made devout prayers to the martyrs for the Lord Christ and with foresight put this work together apace with enamel gleaming like te sacred spring, that each man may process and stoop to worship Christ and offer their prayers in profusion to Heaven.
I fail to see what needs to be corrected, or what it has to do with the donation of Constantine.
Thus the Papal States were literally stolen by the popes from their rightful owners. The papacy controlled and taxed these territories and derived great wealth from them until 1848. At that time the pope, along with the rulers of most of the other divided territories of Italy, was forced to grant his rebellious subjects a constitution. In September 1860, over his raging protests, Pius IX lost all of the papal states to the new, finally united Kingdom of Italy, which left him, at the time of the First Vatican Council in 1870, still in control of Rome and its surroundings.
Again, notice something, that's right, no citations. More "facts" nothing to back them up. The Papal States were conquered by Pepin and given to the Pope in exchange for his support for Pepins claims to the Frankish Crown. Who does the Pope think are thier rightful owners? The Lombards, who stole them from the Byzantines? The Byzantines who took them from the Romans, the Romans who took them from the original kings and princes? Such is human history. Interesting though, Hunt view the Pope as "stealing" his land from the Lombards, but it was a "United Italy" that "controlled" the Papal States. This is a very hypocritical observation, either the conquest of land by force is either theft or it is not.
The point is that, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, a spiritual entity that claimed a special relationship with Christ and with God became identified with a city that was built on seven hills. That "woman" committed spiritual fornication with earthly rulers and eventually reigned over them. The Roman Catholic Church has been continuously identified with that city. As "The most definitive Catholic encyclopedia since Vatican II" declares:
Again, the citation of a Catholic source is merely to give the appearance of research. In his attempt to link Rome=Vatican, he has failed miserably....hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church, the Church that is universal, yet focused upon the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. Since the founding of the Church there by St. Peter, Rome has been the center of all Christendom(Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991), p. 842.).