"The emperor and the pope were to realize the ideal Christian state by uniting wholeheartedly to follow the will of God. The spiritual kingdom ruled by the pope, which had been founded upon the spiritual foundation for the Messiah, and the temporal kingdom ruled by the Emperor should have united based on Christ's teachings. Had they done so, religion, politics and economy would have harmonized, and the foundation for the Second Advent of Christ would have been established at that time" (Exposition of the Divine Principle, 319). The Pope's task was to "lay the spiritual foundation upon which the emperors could stand." Unfortunately, human greed and ambition intervened and subsequent popes became more interested in worldly power. "The popes and priests, sunk in immorality, gradually lost the confidence of the people" (324). As a consequence of this failure by Pope and Emperor, the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy occurred.
- The Divine Principle sees certain periods in history as providentially retrogressive yet as also making amends for human error. It speaks of "parallel providential periods" which occur when a "central figure" or figures, in this instance the Popes, fail in their responsibility. Thus, the period of Babylonian Exile of Israel lasted for "two-hundred and ten years" because "its people had fallen into corruption and idolatry" and the same period was repeated when the popes were exiled in Avignon, "having become corrupt, Pope Clement V was forced to move the papacy from Rome to Avignon and live there subject to the kings of France" (309). The "period of 210 years was the substantial parallel to the 210-year period of Israel's exile and return, and its purpose was to restore that earlier period through parallel indemnity conditions." The preoccupation of the papacy with worldly power and its rivalry with temporal authorities was remedied after the return from exile, when the Counter-Reformation instituted many changes, and made spiritual leadership the main role of the Bishop of Rome.