Bahai News - What a spiritual loss for the Pope's pilgrimage to Israel! April 2, 2000
Page 17

What a spiritual loss for the Pope's pilgrimage to Israel!

By Dr. Ben Dlamini

The pilgrimage of the Pope to Israel has been very significant in that though Christianity originated in Israel but the Headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church has been established outside Israel. The Popes were responsible for the crusades which devastated Israel through many years of wars conducted by the Western powers against the Moslems who had occupied Israel.

There are four major religions in Israel. It is Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. It is very surprising that the Pope made an effort to meet Jews and Moslems, but made no effort to meet the Bahá'ís.

This was a serious omission on his part which will cause a great spiritual deprivation which he will regret in this life and in the life to come.

The Emperor of Austria did visit Israel in the 1870's and omitted to go to Akka where Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned and received a rebuke from God. Bahá'u'lláh wrote to him and said:

"0 Emperor of Austria! He who is the Dayspring of God's light dwelt in Prison of Akka at the time when thou didst set forth to visit the Aqsa Mosque. Thou passed Him by, and enquired not about Him by whom every house is exalted and every lofty gate unlocked."

The failure of the Emperor to enquire about Baha'u'llah was followed by retribution which cost the Emperor his throne.

Today Baha'u'llah is no longer in Akica. His shrine and the Headquarters of His religion is still in Acka and Haifa, hence there is no excuse for the Pope to omit to visit them when he undertook the pilgrimage to Israel. He cannot say that he did not know about these places, because the Israeli government has prepared the most beautiful brochures about the Baha'i holy places for all tourists to Israel. The Bahá'í buildings and gardens can [not] be found in Jerusalem, Nazareth or the sea of Galilee.

In the 1870's Bahá'u'lláh wrote to Pope Pius IX a long tablet declaring that He has come to fulfill the promises made by Jesus the Christ that he would come again in the Glory of the Father.

Many Christians expect that Christ will come sitting on a cloud. This is fiction. The cloud Jesus Christ referred to is that which we see today. Christ has come in flesh and in a new name Bahá'u'lláh, and the learned priests including the Popes fail to recognise Him that it is the person they have been waiting for the last 2000 years. When the Pope undertook a pilgrimage to Israel I watched carefully whether he would be able to correct the great error of Pope Pius IX. It was to Pius IX and the priests of his generation that Bahá'u'lláh made the most astounding claim of being the return of Christ. Since Pius IX failed to heed this challenge and to test its validity, it was a great chance for the present Pope, when he made his pilgrimage to Israel to investigate the great claims made to his predecessor. In the following qoute Bahá'u'lláh is asking all Christians whether they fail to recognise Him as the returned Christ because of His new name. When He came 2000 years ago it was Jesus Christ, but now it is Bahá'u'lláh, the Glory of God: "Say, O followers of the Son! Have ye shut out yourselves from Me by reason of My Name?" Bahá'u'lláh, though a Prisoner of the Ottoman Empire, incarcerated in the Prison of Akka, gave direct instructions to Kings, the Pope and to all the priests as a King would command his vassals:

"O concourse of Priests! Leave the bells, and come forth, then, from your churches, It behoveth you, in this day, to proclaim aloud the Most Great Name among the Nations. Prefer ye to be silent, whilst every stone and every tree shouteth aloud: "The Lord is come in His great glory."
It was God's promise to Israel from time immemorial that the throne of God would be established on Mt Carmel. Bahá'u'lláh came to confirm that that time has now come. Today the throne of God has been established on Mt Cannel.

The establishment of the throne of God on Mt Carmel has turned Mt Carmel from a desolate place into a blossoming valley with the most beautiful gardens which confirm the vision of Isaiah: "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."

The name Bahá'u'lláh is Arabic, which in English means the Glory of God, and there is no question that the coming of Bahá'u'lláh to Akka as Prisoner was no mistake. Those who opposed Bahá'u'lláh's claim that He was a Messenger of God did not know that exiling Him to Akka was only a plan of God to fulfill the ancient prophecies of all the prophets even those of Muhammad.

When Bahá'u'lláh promised Mt Carmel that the throne of God would be established on it He further assured Mt Carmel that:

"Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names".
Bahá'u'lláh told Mt Carmel that in a short while it will receive the body of the Bab, the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, and his body would be buried on Mt Carmel and also the world embracing administrative structure of the Bahá'í Faith would be established on Mt Carmel, led by the Universal House of Justice whose seat would be built on Mt Carmel. Today the seat of the Universal House of Justice is established on Mt Carmel. People from all the nations of the world come to it. It issues laws which rebuke all the nations of the world to follow the laws of God. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."

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