In a historic move, the U.S. and Cuba have agreed to bridge the 50-year old divide between the countries and restore full diplomatic relations. The key figure in this deal was the Vatican. According to the NYTimes,
[Pope] Francis is being credited for helping bridge the divide by first sending letters to President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba, and then having the Vatican host a diplomatic meeting between the two sides in October…
The Vatican’s most senior official after the pope, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, moderated the October meeting after the two countries sought out the Vatican as a trusted broker near the conclusion of their negotiations.
The surprising announcement, on Pope Francis’ birthday, comes amidst the push by the Vatican to continue to play a leading role in the current global diplomatic turmoil. The Times commented:
For Francis, the breakthrough on Wednesday burnished his efforts to reposition the Vatican as a broker in global diplomacy. He has already waded into Middle East protests, hosting a prayer summit meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian presidents that bore few tangible results. Soon afterward, Israel began its military assault against Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, in Gaza.
As the news of U.S.-Cuba relations surfaced, another request by the U.S. to the Vatican to assist in the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison reflects the emergence of the Vatican as a geopolitical leader. As reported by Reuters,
The United States, which is seeking ways to close Guantanamo Bay prison camp and to transfer inmates to third countries, asked the Vatican on Monday for help finding “humanitarian solutions” for inmates, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.
For Seventh-day Adventists, these news headlines continue the fulfillment of Revelation 13:11-12. The U.S. is slowly relinquishing its global leadership to the Roman Catholic Church. Ultimately, the U.S. will be forcing everyone to “worship” and follow the Catholic Church.