Western Civilization Exists for the Mass



Many are stunned today at the speed in which western civilization is collapsing. Coinciding with this is the post-conciliar crisis within the Church, the fourth great crisis of Christendom as it has been described by that great defender of orthodoxy, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. What may not be as clear too many is the connection between the destruction of the Mass and of the collapse of the Christian west.

One man who understood this connection was Dr. John Senior, professor of English, Literature, and Classics and co-founder of the very successful Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas. Dr. Senior taught for decades at the university level. He was also a convert to the Catholic faith, devoted to the traditional Mass and an attendee of Immaculata Chapel (SSPX) in St. Mary’s, Kansas.

Senior has been credited with inspiring a generation of young men and women who, having studied under him at Kansas, converted to Catholicism. As Michael Matt of the Remnant has noted, “under his tutelage, (his students) had learned to love the old Faith as he did and thus desired to serve the Church as loyally as had their revered teacher.”

Early in his book The Restoration of Christian Culture, John Senior speaks to the inseparable nature of civilization and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

Whatever we do in the political or social order, the indispensable foundation is prayer, the heart of which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the perfect prayer of Christ Himself, Priest and Victim, recreating in an unbloody manner the bloody, selfsame Sacrifice of Calvary. What is Christian culture? It is essentially the Mass. That is not my or anyone’s opinion or theory or wish but the central fact of 2,000 years of history. Christendom, what secularists call Western Civilization, is the Mass and the paraphernalia which protect and facilitate it. All architecture, art, political and social forms, economics, the way people live and feel and think, music, literature ―all these things when they are right are ways of fostering and protecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Understanding this, is it any wonder why a growing number of Catholics today (sometimes derisively dismissed as ‘radical traditionalists’) speak of the need for liturgical restoration? Is it any surprise that we are seeing a cultural collapse in the west considering the anthropocentric and profane Masses offered for much of the last fifty years?

Reading the above quote by Senior recently I was immediately reminded of another occasion when esteemed laity highlighted the inseparable connection between the Mass and civilization.

On the eve of the implementation of Pope Paul’s new Mass in the U.K. back in 1971, a group of learned English signatories wrote the Holy Father a letter, an appeal. Many of the distinguished signers were not even Catholic. They included such artists and thinkers as Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, Robert Graves, Ralph Richardson, Kenneth Clark, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Yehudi Menuhin to name just a few. In total nearly sixty people signed.

Their letter today, and the subsequent response of Rome, are referred to as the Agatha Christie indult, named after its most prominent signer. Put simply, the letter argued for the preservation of the Roman Rite as the jewel of western civilization. They began:

If some senseless decree were to order the total or partial destruction of basilicas or cathedrals, then obviously it would be the educated -whatever their personal beliefs- who would rise up in horror to oppose such a possibility.

Now the fact is that basilicas and cathedrals were built so as to celebrate a rite which, until a few months ago, constituted a living tradition. We are referring to the Roman Catholic Mass. Yet, according to the latest information in Rome, there is a plan to obliterate that Mass by the end of the current year.

Next, the signatories argued (as John Senior did) that the traditional Mass is foundational to, and inseparable from, western civilization:

We are not at this moment considering the religious or spiritual experience of millions of individuals. The rite in question, in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts -not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs. Thus, it belongs to universal culture as well as to churchmen and formal Christians.

The implication is clear. If the “rite in question” has inspired the culture and lifted the human spirit in such a manner “in all countries and epochs”, then what happens when it is distorted and diminished. If western civilization exists for the Mass, then what happens when the Mass is changed? Consistently profaned? Modernized?

The letter concludes with both an appeal, and a filial warning, to the Holy Father:

The signatories of this appeal, which is entirely ecumenical and nonpolitical, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See, the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the Traditional Mass to survive…

Cardinal Heenan delivered the letter to Pope Paul VI, resulting in the granting of the Latin Mass indult for England and Wales in November 1971.

What is sad today, nearly fifty years after the “reform” of the Roman Rite, is that many within the Church still do not see what John Senior and the signatories of the Agatha Christie letter so clearly recognized. History has proven them to be truly prophetic. We can view these last fifty years as our Babylonian exile. Our captivity, merited through pride and disobedience.

Surveying the ecclesial and cultural landscape near the end of his life, Senior held nothing back in his assessment:

The crisis is over; we have lost. This is no longer just a prediction, it is a simple observation: Rome has been desecrated. We are in the age of darkness. Triumphalist reactions are in vain. The modern world and the Church deserve the punishment that God is raining down on us.

Despite this current punishment we cannot despair. In the end, we know Who is victorious. We do not, however, participate in this victory if we fail to reassert the fundamental connection between the Mass and western civilization.

The Mass must first be the foundation of the family before it can be the foundation of the culture. All of life must flow from Our Eucharistic Lord, present in our churches, on the altars, in the hands of our priests. The Social Kingship of Christ must once again be proclaimed as well.

We must also reject the nonsensical notion of the Mass as an ecumenical experiment. As a laboratory for innovation. As an expression of the secular instead of an encounter with the eternal. This must all be rejected. It is offensive and it is not Catholic.

Western civilization, or more accurately Christendom, exists for the Mass. We have seen the fruits of secularism, of rejecting this fundamental truth. We have seen both the culture and the Church teeter (and in some places fall) due to the loss of understanding of this foundational truth. Even where the culture fails to grasp this notion, it is still true never the less.

In the end this is why so many fight for the liturgy, despite the scorn of some and the indifference of many. This truth compels us. Father John Zuhlsdorf (Fr. Z) likes to say, “Save the Liturgy, save the World.” Indeed.

Photo credit: Gonzague Bridault

SOURCE: https://liturgyguy.com/2017/11/07/western-civilization-exists-for-the-mass/

Is the Catholic Church in Germany Still Catholic?

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German Catholic archdiocese promotes fornication, abortion, to 15-year-old girls

November 6, 2017, (LifeSiteNews.com) – German Catholics are protesting a program endorsed personally by the archbishop of Berlin that gives “practical tips” to Catholic sex educators on how to teach children about their “sexual rights,” advising them that adult sex with a minor is permitted, as long as it’s “consensual,” and outlining the process of obtaining an abortion.

The program also seeks to eliminate “taboos,” “prejudices,” and “stereotypes” regarding various forms of sexual deviation, including homosexual behavior and masturbation, treating such impulses as part of a person’s identity. At the same time, it seeks to resolve the “tension” between such behaviors and the Catholic Church’s “official” doctrines on human sexuality.

“A church that tries to impose people’s opinions today is crazy,” writes Berlin archbishop Heiner Koch in his introduction to the program. “We need to take note of the diversity of ideas about sexuality in our society. However, in the company of young people, we also need to be in a position to make a profound statement that the Christian faith and its image of man can free themselves to self-realization, to true relationship and intimacy.”

The program’s “Practical tips for the use of methods in sexual pedagogical work with youth groups,” posted on the archdiocesan website, addresses the question, “When is it normal to have sex?” It gives a list of hypothetical “situations” regarding minors involved in out-of-wedlock sexual activity and then provides “answers” to those situations regarding the minors’ “right” to engage in the behavior. Catholic doctrine on sexual morality in the document is left unmentioned.

In hypothetical “Situation 2” a 22-year-old man has a 15-year-old girlfriend with whom he wishes to have sexual relations. The archdiocese writes, “In principle, persons of legal age may sleep with minors, provided it is consensual sexual acts/intercourse. It gets difficult, however, whenever sexual acts or intercourse are forced.”

In “Situation 6,” a girl named “Milena” has an “unwanted pregnancy.” While the document discusses options for receiving state support for her as an unwed mother, or for adopting, it adds, “In the context of pregnancy conflict counseling Milena can be advised on the possibility of abortion.”

“In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. She even has to show that she took part in a consultation should she decide to terminate. In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. No matter how Milena decides, she can get advice and has the right to psychological support,” the document continues.

The “tips” even explain how minors can obtain contraceptives without their parents finding out, and implies that those under 14 years of age can obtain contraceptives to facilitate their sexual activity, despite the fact that it is illegal.

In “Situation 5,” readers are told, “Laura (15) would like to sleep with her boyfriend and considers different contraceptives.” However, she’s afraid her parents will find out. The archdiocese notes that, as “Laura” is under 16 years of age, her doctor can inform her parents that she wants oral contraceptives. However, “Laura” can “try to convince the doctor that she is mature enough to make that decision.”

The archdiocese notes that “for under-14s it will be difficult to get a prescription for contraceptives since intercourse for under-14s is prohibited by law.” However, it adds that “in principle, adolescents can buy over-the-counter contraceptives such as condoms and a diaphragm at any pharmacy. If you are uncomfortable asking for it in a pharmacy, you can also buy condoms anonymously in a drugstore.”

Other “situations” include teenage girls in lesbian relationships and a boy who wants to be tested for venereal diseases without being detected by his parents. Both are within the legal “rights” of minors, the archdiocese states.

German Catholics respond with a petition

A group of German Catholics outraged by the archbishop’s apparent endorsement of pro-abortion materials has organized a petition to ask him to remove them from the archdiocesan website, entitled “The Archdiocese of Berlin should finally stop giving teens tips on abortion!”

“Incomprehensible! The Archdiocese of Berlin gives 15-year-old pregnant women tips on how to kill their child. . . . This exposes the archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, as a follower of the feminist pro-choice ideology, which gives the right to life of unborn children to the arbitrariness of their mothers. Pro-Choice is not opinion, but murder!”

The petitioners ask the archbishop to “take the unspeakable abortion tips immediately from the website of the Archdiocese of Berlin. The church has the right to defend the right to life of the unborn and a moral obligation to act as the protective power of innocent children in public.”

However, the petitioners make no mention of other material on the site that normalizes and legitimizes out-of-wedlock and homosexual sex acts.

Archbishop seeks ‘conversation’ with adolescents about their values

The materials were originally presented by the Archdiocese of Berlin at a conferencecalled “In ‘Freedom and Responsibility’: Sex Education Work in Catholic Institutions” in February of 2016.

According to Archbishop Heiner Koch, the conference sought to “trace the tensions between Catholic sexual morality, one’s own attitude, life-world and the sexual pedagogical requirements in the workplace and to get into conversation about it.”

“Abortion, Homosexuality, Masturbation: The spectrum on the topic of ‘sex’ is as far-reaching in Catholic education and care facilities for children and adolescents as society dictates,” states the archdiocese on its webpage regarding the event, “But the taboos are also big, as educators and social workers admitted at a conference.” Conference materials seek to help adolescents clarify their own values in a dialogical manner.

Archbishop responds to complaints, but protesters not satisfied

Following an outcry from German Catholics over the abortion “tips” given in “Situation 6,” the archbishop ordered a paragraph  be added to that section noting that it is “difficult” to teach about the law “completely detached from moral issues,” and that the “ecclesiastical context” “offers the topic of ‘protection of life.’” According to the archbishop, this makes it “clear” that Christian values are to be taught along with the material. Other statements were added affirming that girls can’t be pressured to have abortions.

However, the petitioners were not satisfied with archbishop’s response. “The document still states (supplemented by a few remarks):  ‘Even girls under the age of 18 have the opportunity in principle to be able to terminate a pregnancy without penalty in the first twelve weeks. (…) No matter how Milena decides, she can seek advice and has the right to psychological support .’”

“Unfortunately, this is only a half-hearted appeasement by the archdiocese, but not a true commitment to a culture of life!” add the petitioners. “We must therefore maintain our protest and continue to apply pressure. The document should completely disappear from the site of the archdiocese!”

The material represents a long-established tendency of extreme laxity regarding sexual morals among German-speaking Catholic clergy and laity. German-speaking bishops, Such as Walter Kasper and Christoph Schönborn, have provided the principal impetus for the acceptance of adulterous second marriages in the Catholic Church. The permanent council of the German bishops’ conference has approvedgiving Holy Communion to those who are living in such marriages.

In recent years the German bishops, in particular, have promoted the notion of “diverse family types” and have even published an article defending same-sex “marriage.” Some German bishops, however, are resisting this tendency.

 Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/german-catholic-archdiocese-promotes-fornication-abortion-to-15-year-old-gi

21st Century Catholicism: Having one’s cake and eating it too

Cafeteria Catholic is a phrase that has been with us since the end of Vatican II and the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae; choosing what to believe and what not to believe based on our own private judgment. It represented a radical change within Catholicism that described a new Catholic Culture which swept the world and has now thoroughly gripped most Catholics without having the least concern that they might not be Catholics in good standing while they disagree with moral and ethical laws and rightful duties that Catholics are charged with under penalty of grave sin or even excommunication in some instances. This attitude is seen from the lowest layman in the pews all the way to the Princes of the Church, its theologians, liturgists and perhaps even to the Pope himself.

A more apt understanding of this old saying might well be rephrased by saying that most Novus Ordo Catholics believe that we can be Catholic whilst refusing to believe Her teachings, can live a hedonistic lifestyle, skip Confession, disregard Holy days of Obligation (and the Sunday Obligation to attend Mass); all with complete complacency. They receive Holy Communion, hold heretical opinions concerning defined Teachings and still are regarded as good and loyal Catholic. And why not? We have enough prelates on record who publicly disagree with Church Teachings and they, after all, are our Shepherds; raised to their ranks to lead us, to protect the sheep and to safely lead their souls, under their spiritual care, to Heaven. If they can question the Teachings of the Fatih then I guess that all Catholics have the same freedom to do the same.

We have watched as our prelates have endorsed views that were denounced by previous popes and councils which has now become common fare for our ‘discernment’ or taught as Catholic Truth: Communism, Marxism and Socialism, once condemned by the Church has become  so prevalent that over 50% of the millennials would rather live in a socialist country that in a democracy. Likewise, homosexuality and homosexual unions are now accepted by the majority of those who call themselves Catholics; the Real Presence in the Eucharist is seen as a mere change of significance (a mere remembering of Christ’s passion and death) in the substance of the bread and wine and nothing more; an opposition to an all male priesthood; a new focus on the congregation during Mass than on Christ; a push to forego personal holiness in prayer to a type of Christian Humanism as the highest form of perfecting ones spiritual life. Loving God has been put in the backseat while loving neighbor (for the love of God) is front and center . . . and not so much for the love of God but for humanitarian reasons of liberty, equality and fraternity . . . a return to the cry of the Protestant Freemasons from the French Revolution. Never mind that the French Revolution led to the persecution of the Church and Europe has never recovered from their hatred of the Catholic Faith. The Vendee episode was a Catholic genocide that followed this ideology and it is still seething below the surface even now. But never mind.

It seems that Catholics would rather find a false ecumenism with the world which would like to destroy the Catholic Faith or at least fully convert them into just another sect of Protestantism. And the Novus Ordo and our false ecumenism has done a great deal to bring us closer to this protestant goal. Our dialogues with other faiths has done nothing but take from Catholicism  without any quid pro quo. Give and take did not occur . . . only give. And we seem to be OK with our new protestant faith. Forget the martyrs who gave their lives for the faith and forget our fathers and grandfathers who would be appalled at the Church today, scarcely recognizing Her and wondering what ever happened to the Roman Catholic Church, Her Truths and a remarkable Catholic culture that has all but disappeared entirely.

And added to this, we now have caved to the world’s idea of marriage, divorce, remarriage, contraception et al. No, the Teachings cannot change but our support for how we deal with these things has fundamentally changed . . . in effect, denying their Truth. Marriage and divorce in the Catholic Church is about the same as it is for everyone else in the world . . . pretty dismal. The size of Catholic families has fallen in a similar way which demonstrates how contraception laws are being violated constantly. One wonders how the Church is going to revive itself in the midst of such chaos.

Can we ever recover if we have priest fighting against priest, bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal? And when the Vicar of Christ has decided to allow adulterers to have their cake and eat it too, we wonder if there is any chance for a Catholic revival during our lifetimes . . . or if Christ Himself must return to cleanse the swamp and set His Church aright once again.

God have mercy on our souls for we have sinned and decided that we cannot curb our appetites and therefore You, Dearest Christ, surely will have mercy on us no matter if we even make an attempt to live up to Your Commandments. Martin Luther has won. Today’s Novus Ordo Church is one of his greatest achievements. No wonder so many of our prelates are celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolution. But Christ will have the last Victory and may He, indeed, have mercy for our disobedience and our rebellious spirit.

Making Suicide A Virtuous Act: Antipope Bergoglio and NWO Executing Depopulation Plan | Barnhardt.biz

By Ann Barnhardt     Nov. 1, 2017

Ready for more sunshine and happiness after yesterday’s fury at the celebration of Luther?  I realized that the whole theme of the desensitizing, normalizing and glorifying of suicide demanded a post of its own.  This is such an important topic, and almost no one is talking about it, perhaps because most people simply can’t imagine that there are people so spectacularly evil as to actually desire that people choose to commit suicide en masse.  But, that is exactly the situation, and so we have to discuss it.

I would especially encourage priests to read this very, very closely, as you will be on the front lines and if you do not understand what is going on, it will be very, very difficult for you to fight back against the wolves who are trying to devour your flocks.

Post-Christian society is falling into the abyss, and quickly. Within a mere blink of the eye in historical terms, our society has fully embraced sexual perversion of every stripe, self-mutilation has become a “civil right”, and there is now only one final frontier to be breached: suicide.

Antipope Bergoglio, wielding his completely illegitimate “moral authority” as the usurper of the See of Peter, has been at the forefront of the conspiracy – and I use the word without hesitation – to lay the foundations needed to desensitize, normalize, glorify, and eventually EXPECT suicide.  It is the ultimate smack in the face to God, to not only ratify people in sin, but to actually encourage people to take the gift of their very life, and throw it away.

The fact that Bergoglio and the Freemasonic-Soros-Zuckerberg New World Order cabal are 100% in agreement on the agenda of suicide promotion should come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever.  If Bergoglio is, in fact, the False Prophet Forerunner of the Antichrist, it becomes even more predictable.

The first step is to ratify what post-Christian culture already believes by a huge margin: that death results in the annihilation of the human soul at the very worst, and for those few remaining “simpletons” that still cling to their “bullshit religion”, that there is universal salvation.  Either way, the possibility of eternal damnation and the existence of hell is completely discounted and derided as the ravings of unsophisticated and “hate-filled” fringe lunatics.

It was the Theory of Evolution that was the first wave of attack against man’s belief in the reality of hell.  We all know that when we slaughter animals, that the animals’ consciousnesses are, in fact, “snuffed out of existence”.  Animals are NOT rational intellects, and thus are fundamentally different from human beings who are rational intellects, and are in that way created “in the image and likeness of God”.  As Darwinian thought infected the world, men became convinced that as mere “hairless apes”, animals that are simply more evolved than other animals, so too are human beings “snuffed out of existence” when they die.  Three of the Four Last Things were essentially disregarded in one fell swoop: Judgment, Heaven and Hell.  Only death remained, and so the telos of man, or the end of man, became death and annihilation – FULL STOP, LIGHTS OUT. Heaven and hell thus became something that intelligent people merely gave lip service to on Sunday mornings, if that.

Bergoglio has gone out of his way to promote soul annihilation as the worst possible end of man, even in the foul screed Amoris Laetitia, in which he says, through his ghostwriter in paragraph 297, “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!He has told the atheist Freemason newspaper magnate Eugenio Scalfari more than once that souls are annihilated that do not receive eternal beatitude. 

Read More: https://www.barnhardt.biz/2017/11/01/making-suicide-a-virtuous-act-antipope-bergoglio-and-nwo-executing-depopulation-plan/

400 Years Ago, Our Lady Sent Us A Message From Ecuador

With the news that the Church is trying to reconcile with Freemasonry, this seems to be an old post that is worth reposting. It seems that most of what Our Lady of Good Success prophesied has occurred and that which has not occured is in the works. It may get darker before we see the light; remember the rosary, ask Our Lady of Good Success for Her intercession, and pray the longer version of Leo XIII’s St. Michael prayer. It seems to me we are in need of some spiritual warriors who will invoke Heaven’s help during these dark times. __ Scoop

Steve Skojec7/6/2015

Miraculous Statue of Our Lady of Good Success

Statue of Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador

I spent a lovely weekend with my family, and have mostly avoided the news. This morning I awoke to a story about Pope Francismaking a surprise public appearance in Quito, Ecuador, where he is beginning a tour of three Latin American countries. He is scheduled to celebrate Mass for an enormous crowd — estimates say well over a million people — some time today.

But the focus on Ecuador in the context of the events of the past few months brings to mind another story, one we’ve referenced several times in our articles here at 1P5. It is the story of Our Lady of Good Success, and her (approved) apparitions to Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador in the 17th century. As a testament to her sanctity, the body of Ven. Mariana is, to this day, considered incorrupt, and upon the opening of her casket in 1906, was found to exude the fragrance of lilies.

These apparitions were especially prescient in their warnings and predictions, and they offered us a timeline of events that was quite specific — mentioning the 20th century in particular — that indeed matches with our own experience. Here is a portion of the message of Our Lady to Mother Mariana on January 21st, 1610:

“Thus, I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and from shortly after the middle of the 20th century, in what is today the Colony and will then be the Republic of Ecuador, the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs, for Satan will reign almost completely by means of the Masonic Sects. They will focus principally on the children in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times!

It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and also the Sacrament of Confirmation. They will receive the Sacrament of Confession only if they remain in Catholic schools, for the Devil will make a great effort to destroy it through persons in position of authority. The same thing will happen with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Alas! How deeply I grieve to manifest to you the many enormous sacrileges – both public as well as secret – that will occur from profanation of the Holy Eucharist. Often, during this epoch the enemies of Jesus Christ, instigated by the Devil, will steal consecrated Hosts from the churches so that they might profane the Eucharistic Species. My Most Holy Son will see Himself cast upon the ground and trampled upon by filthy feet. (…).

But in those times you will already be known, as well as the favors that I am bestowing on you. How I love the fortunate inhabitants of this sacred place! And that knowledge will stimulate love and devotion to my Sacred Statue. For this reason, today, I authoritatively order you to have this Statue made: let it be sculptured just as you see Me and placed upon the Abbess’s chair, so that from there I may govern and direct my daughters and defend my Convent; for Satan, making use of both the good and the evil, will engage in a fierce battle to destroy it.


Since this poor Country will lack the Catholic spirit, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction will be little valued. Many people will die without receiving it – either because of the negligence of their families or misconceived affection for their sick ones. Others, incited by the cursed Devil, will rebel against the spirit of the Catholic Church and will deprive countless souls of innumerable graces, consolations, and the strength they need to make the great leap from time to eternity. But some persons will die without receiving it due to just and secret chastisements of God.

As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolises the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the death of priestly and religious vocations.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests. The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalise the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests.

This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous suffering to the good Pastors of the Church, the many good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth, who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of his God and Lord, beseeching light, sanctity and perfection for all the clergy of the world, of whom he is King and Father. Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury which will ensnare the rest into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women.

In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent!”

You will see this from Heaven, my beloved daughter, where you can no long suffer, but your daughters and successors will suffer, those beloved souls already known to you who will placate the Divine Ire. They will have recourse to Me under the invocation of Our Lady of Good Success, whose Statue I ask and command that you have made for the consolation and preservation of my Convent and of the faithful souls of that time, an epoch when there will be a great devotion to Me, for I am Queen of Heaven under many invocations.

This devotion will be the shield between Divine Justice and the prevaricating world to prevent the release of God’s formidable punishment that this guilty earth deserves.

In the next apparition, in February of the same year, Our Lady responds to Ven. Mother Mariana’s request to have her identity hidden in connection to the creation of the statue Our Lady requested in her honor. She re-iterates several points from the first message:

As for your request that your name be hidden, this pleases me, and I will do as you have asked. Tell the Bishop that it is my will and the will of my Most Holy Son that your name be hidden at all costs, both within as well as outside the cloister, for it is not fitting for anyone at the present time to know the details or origin of how this Statue came to be made. For this knowledge will only become known to the general public in the 20th century.

During that epoch the Church will find herself attacked by terrible hordes of the Masonic sect, and this poor Ecuadorian land will be agonizing because of the corruption of customs, unbridled luxury, the impious press, and secular education. The vices of impurity, blasphemy, and sacrilege will dominate in this time of depraved desolation, and that one who should speak out will be silent.


A simple, humble faith in the truth of my apparitions to you, my favoured child, will be reserved for humble and fervent who are docile to the inspirations of grace, for our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not or infatuated with empty science.

There’s a great deal to unpack here, but even the most cursory reading offers obvious parallels to what we are experiencing now. Whether and when each piece of this prophecy applies (or will apply) is something I’m not qualified to answer. Mary went on to explain, in the 6th apparition, in February, 1634:

In order to free men from bondage to these heresies, those whom the merciful love of My Most Holy Son will destine for that restoration will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. To test this faith and confidence of the just, there will be occasions in which everything will seem to be lost and paralyzed. This will be, then, the happy beginning of the complete restoration.


During this unfortunate epoch, injustice will even enter here, my closed garden. Disguised under the name of false charity, it will wreak havoc in souls. The spiteful demon will try to sow discord, making use of putrid members, who, masked by the appearance of virtue, will be like decaying sepulchers emanating the pestilence of putrefaction, causing moral deaths in some and lukewarmness in others.


[T]he spirit of impurity that will saturate the atmosphere in those times. Like a filthy ocean, it will inundate the streets, squares and public places with an astonishing liberty. There will be almost no virgin souls in the world.


How the Church will suffer on that occasion the dark night of the lack of a Prelate and Father to watch over them with paternal love, gentleness, strength, and prudence. Many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger. Pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart, imploring our Celestial Father that, for love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity and by the profound bitterness and sufferings of His cruel Passion and Death, He might take pity on His Ministers and quickly bring to an end those ominous times, sending to this Church the Prelate that will restore the spirit of its Priests.

There simply isn’t room here to cite all the relevant passages, so I suggest that those of you who are interested take the time to read more. I have found it somewhat challenging to find more than brief excerpts from the messages to Ven. Mother Mariana, which is why all of the above citations are taken from this issue of Chiesa Viva. I am not familiar with the publication (its native language is Italian) but I have some concerns, based on what I see on the website, about its general editorial bias. If anyone has a better source — preferably a book — on Our Lady of Good Success, please let me know in the comments.

Christ the King; today, not in November and of the world, not “in our hearts”

It’s Christ our King, not Christ our pal.

It is a feast primarily about celebrating Christ’s ongoing kingship over all reality, including this present world, where the Church must fight for the recognition of His rights, the actual extension of His dominion to all domains, individual and social.”

“Including this present world”…

I was going to write a Thing about why we have the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday in October, and why the change of the date by the Bugnini Cabal was a way of undermining its meaning. In fact, the change of the date of Christ the King is a little nutshell version of how they changed Catholicism’s whole purpose. It became about the private, interior (and Protestant-derived) “personal relationship with Jesus” instead of a cosmological religion describing objective reality to which all people are obliged to adhere.

It seems, however, that I am not the only person who thought this was a good idea. Which is good, because for various reasons I feel like crap today and don’t want to do the extra work.

Fortunately, Peter has already done it.

Good work, Spock.

To paraphrase: the Catholic Church – in the person of Pope Pius XI who promulgated the feast in 1925 – put it on the days before the Feasts of All Souls and All Saints, and in the last space of time before the end of the liturgical year, to symbolise the requirement that all nations on earth recognise Jesus Christ as King. No, not just “King in our hearts,” and not just king of the world after the Second Coming, but recognising his rightful sovereignty over all nations in this life, right here and right now. Nations, that is, governments, are obliged – yes obliged – to obey Christ in their laws and directives.

The change of date symbolised the Church backing away (in alarm) from this radical idea. Putting it on the last Sunday of the liturgical year meant that we no longer thought it was a requirement that all nations – before the end of time and the Parousia – recognise the prerogatives of Christ as ruler in this life.

Here’s Peter with way more and way better explanations:

“One of the most egregious differences between the two calendars (in the Latin Rite) is the location of the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the old calendar, it is always celebrated on the last Sunday of the month of October, right before All Saints. In the new calendar, however, it is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, leading up to the First Sunday of Advent…”

“Pius XI’s intention…is to emphasise the glory of Christ as terminus of His earthly mission, a glory and mission visible and perpetuated in history by the saints. Hence the feast falls shortly before the Feast of All Saints, to emphasize that what Christ inaugurated in His own person before ascending in glory, the saints then instantiate and carry further in human society, culture, and nations. It is a feast primarily about celebrating Christ’s ongoing kingship over all reality, including this present world, where the Church must fight for the recognition of His rights, the actual extension of His dominion to all domains, individual and social.

“Indeed, there’s also the obvious fact, unmentioned in Quas Primas but surely in everyone’s mind, that the last Sunday in October had, for centuries, been celebrated as Reformation Sunday. A Catholic counter-feast, reminding the world not only of the comprehensive Kingship of Jesus Christ—so often denied socially and culturally by various teachings of Protestantism—but also of the worldwide kingly authority of His Church, would certainly be a reasonable application of the principle lex orandi, lex credendi.”

“In the liturgical reforms following the Second Vatican Council, its place was changed to the last Sunday of the Church year—that is, so that one week later would fall the first Sunday of Advent. This new position emphasizes rather the eschatological dimension of Christ’s kingship…”

“Though both placements are defensible, it would seem that Pius XI’s intention, consistent with the encyclical as a whole, was more to insist on the rights of Jesus Christ here and now, and the corresponding duties of men and nations on earth…”

“From this vantage, which certainly does not sound like the language of Dignitatis Humanae or the postconciliar diplomacy of the Church, it is hard to resist thinking that the eschatological perspective betrays weak knees before the challenge of modern secularization, as well as hesitation about the perceived “triumphalism” of the earlier papal social teaching. In other words, the kingship of Christ is palatable and proclaimable so long as its realization comes at the end of time, and does not impinge too much on the political and social order right now—or on the Church’s responsibility to convert the nations, invigorate their cultures, and transform their laws by the light of the Faith.”

Those vital and urgent truths for which Pius XI instituted the very feast of the Kingship of Christ—are they still alive, are they still being preached and taught, are they the lifeblood of the Church’s every liturgy, apostolate, pastoral program? Are we are looking at a feast whose time has passed? The places where the original feast is still celebrated on its original day have, in my experience, some awareness of what this is all about, and nurture a desire to live according to these truths. May the Novemberites sooner or later rediscover the full depth and breadth of this feast as its institutor conceived it.


Okay? Got it? Christ the King of the nations of the world, right now, in this life and in ALL nations, the publicly acknowledged sovereign, not “Christ the King of our hearts” or some other sloppy sentimental – and meaningless, completely ignorable – nonsense.

Here’s the original document about it from the pope, Quas Primas, from the Way Olden Days of last week, when we had popes who believed Catholicism was true.

Here’s an Act of Consecration of the Human Race to Christ the King

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar.
We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be;
but to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee;
many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus,
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee;
grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islam,
and refuse not to to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God.
Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once Thy chosen people:
of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour;
may It now descend upon them, a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
“Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honour for ever.”

Source: http://whatisupwiththesynod.com/index.php/2017/10/29/christ-the-king-today-not-in-november/

Catholic Hospital Group Grants Euthanasia to Mentally Ill, Defying Vatican – WSJ

Pope Francis addresses the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life in Vatican City on October 5. The academy promotes the church’s teachings on bioethics. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

VATICAN CITY—A chain of Catholic psychiatric hospitals in Belgium is granting euthanasia to non-terminal patients, defying the Vatican and deepening a challenge to the church’s commitment to a constant moral code.

The board of the Brothers of Charity, Belgium’s largest single provider of psychiatric care, said the decision no longer belongs to Rome. Truly Christian values, the board argued in September, should privilege a “person’s choice of conscience” over a “strict ethic of rules.”

The policy change is highly symbolic, said Didier Pollefeyt, a theologian and vice rector of the Catholic University of Leuven.

“The Brothers of Charity have been seen as a beacon of hope and resistance” to euthanasia, he said. “Now that the most Catholic institution gives up resistance, it looks like the most normal thing in the world.”

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, the first country with a majority Catholic population to do so. Belgian bishops opposed the legislation, in line with the church’s catechism, which states that causing the death of the handicapped, sick or dying to eliminate their suffering is murder.

Read more here: Catholic Hospital Group Grants Euthanasia to Mentally Ill, Defying Vatican – WSJ

The Center Cannot Hold | OnePeterFive

Steve Skojec10/25/2017

Things are escalating again.

Pieces, falling into a puzzle with a picture we cannot make out, bit by bit. I recently hinted at my own perception of an increase in activity transpiring behind the veil between this world and the next. I suspect many of you sense it, too.

Earlier this week, as I was ruminating over the odd assortment of observations I wanted to gather into this post, a line came unbidden into my mind: “the…something cannot hold. “

That’s good, I thought. But what is it? The ceiling cannot hold? The floor? I can’t remember what this is from. 

So to The Google I went, and sure enough, a search of the cannot hold yielded the poem I was looking for. Those of you who are more erudite than I and possess a better grasp of literature already know the title and the author: The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats.

As I read the poem, I was immediately struck by its topicality:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Yes, I thought. That certainly sounds more like the present moment than I expectedI will definitely use this.

Then I continued….

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Even now, placing this text here for you to read, I find a lump in my throat and a chill running down my spine. I had absolutely no recollection, when the line came to me, what the poem was about. I was merely thinking of that one phrase, magnificent in its expression of the precariousness of our situation.

But truth be told, one of the things that had me thinking along these lines in the first place is Father Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 apocalyptic novel, Lord of the World, which I have only just recently, for at least the third time in as many years, picked up and started reading again. The first couple of times, I found it dense and dry. Perhaps the time simply wasn’t right. Pushing through the opening pages, now, I have found myself in the midst of a page-turner that is eerily reminiscent of the things we are witnessing day to day.

Certainly, the setting is different. And I wouldn’t say things are playing out in the story the way I expect them to in the real world. But there are core themes there that resonate throughout history. The book, now 110 years old, is (so far as I have read) notably prescient. (And strangely, as the cover of this edition says, Pope Francis advises you to read it! There is also a free Kindle edition here.)

It’s about the coming of the Antichrist.

Humanism: An Idolatry of Man

In the introduction to the book, in which our priest protagonist, Fr. Percy Franklin, is visiting an elderly Mr. Templeton to get some historical backstory to bring the reader up to speed, Templeton says:

I think, if you wish me to say what I think, that, humanly speaking, Catholicism will decrease rapidly now. It is perfectly true that Protestantism is dead. Men do recognise at last that a supernatural Religion involves an absolute authority, and that Private Judgment in matters of faith is nothing else than the beginning of disintegration.

Templeton continues:

On the other hand, you must remember that Humanitarianism, contrary to all persons’ expectations, is becoming an actual religion itself, though anti-supernatural. It is Pantheism; it is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, ‘God is Man,’ and the rest. It has therefore a real food of a sort to offer to religious cravings; it idealises, and yet it makes no demand upon the spiritual faculties. Then, they have the use of all the churches except ours, and all the Cathedrals; and they are beginning at last to encourage sentiment. Then, they may display their symbols and we may not: I think that they will be established legally in another ten years at the latest.

On Monday morning, I called up a good friend who is far more deeply immersed in the theology of the Church than I am. I asked him for a gut check on all that is currently transpiring, and he immediately gave an impassioned response.

The problem, he said to me, is that we keep trying to address all these symptoms of the disease. We see Communion for the divorced and remarried, or the attempt to abolish the death penalty, or the revisitation of Humanae Vitae, or the anthropocentric changes in the liturgy, and we go running after them, chasing them down, trying to fight them.

“The root of it all, though,” he said to me, “is the worship of man. It’s Gaudium et Spes 12 and 24. It’s Evangelii Gaudium 161. And very few people truly see that.”

Gaudium et Spes 12 reads, in part, “According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.”

Gaudium et Spes 24 reads, in part,”…love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment.”

Evangelii Gaudium 161 reads, in part, “above all the new commandment, the first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’ (Jn 15:12).”

We have written about the problems with these documents here before, so I will not elaborate on them further now, save to say that they represent a dangerous kind of humanism in which man takes the center stage, replacing the proper place of God. As we all know, the “first and greatest commandment” is not “love for God and neighbor” or simply, “love one another as I have loved you,” but “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Mt. 22:37-38)

In a homily two years ago this month, Pope Francis said that

humanism should take its starting point from “the centrality of Jesus,” in whom we discover “the features of the authentic face of man.” His reflection took its starting point from the passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus.” What is this attitude? the Pope asked. He suggested three specific traits: humility, disinterest, and happiness (It: beatitudine).

With regard to humility, the Pope said we should pursue the glory of God, and not our own. “The glory of God that blazes in the humility of the cave of Bethlehem or in the dishonour of the Cross of Christ always surprises us.” Disinterest is seen in the quote from Philippians, which speaks of “each one looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.” A Christian’s humanity, he said, is not narcissistic or self-centred, but always goes out to others, which leads us always to work and to fight to make the world a better place.

In our 110-year-old story about an anti-Christian future, we see the lapsed Catholic mother of the famed and rabidly anti-theistic Labour MP, Oliver Brand, reflecting upon the Masonic Hymn being rousingly sung by the Londoners all around her:

Old Mrs. Brand lifted the printed paper mechanically to her eyes, and saw the words that she knew so well:

The Lord that dwells in earth and sea.” …

She glanced down the verses, that from the Humanitarian point of view had been composed with both skill and ardour. They had a religious ring; the unintelligent Christian could sing them without a qualm; yet their sense was plain enough–the old human creed that man was all. Even Christ’s words themselves were quoted. The kingdom of God, it was said, lay within the human heart, and the greatest of all graces was Charity.

Of course, “Christian Humanism” isn’t an entirely new thing. It also isn’t strictly a Pope Francis thing. Writing at The Week, Peter Weber says:

Let me be clear: I’m not arguing that Francis is a secular humanist, or capital-h Humanist, by any means. Instead, let’s call him a Christian humanist, defining that as one who cares about human beings more than ecclesiastical considerations.

That might sound like secular balderdash, but it’s actually a phrase coined by Pope Benedict. “Christian humanism,” he wrote in the 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”), “enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open toward our brothers and sisters and toward an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity.” Benedict explicitly borrowed the idea from Pope Paul VI.

And yet how is “Christian Humanism” being distinguished from “capital-h Humanism”, practically speaking? How are we to believe that this isn’t just an indicator of the supremacy of the “Revolution in Tiara and Cope” promised by the Italian Freemasons of the Alta Vendita over a century ago?

When upon all the points of ecclesiastical state at once, this daily work shall have spread our ideas as light, then you will appreciate the wisdom of the counsel in which we take the initiative… That reputation will open the way for our doctrines to pass to the bosoms of the young clergy, and go even to the depths of convents. In a few years the young clergy will have, by force of events, invaded all the functions. They will govern, administer, and judge. They will form the council of the Sovereign. They will be called upon to choose the Pontiff who will reign; and that Pontiff, like the greater part of his contemporaries, will be necessarily imbued with the…humanitarian principles which we are about to put into circulation… Let the clergy march under your banner in the belief always that they march under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You wish to cause the last vestige of tyranny and of oppression to disappear? Lay your nets like Simon Barjona. Lay them in the depths of sacristies, seminaries, and convents, rather than in the depth of the sea… You will bring yourselves as friends around the Apostolic Chair. You will have fished up a Revolution in Tiara and Cope, marching with Cross and banner – a Revolution which needs only to be spurred on a little to put the four corners of the world on fire.

And what are we to make of the nearly-universal acclaim that Freemasonry has heaped upon our present pontiff, in light of these designs? What of the Vatican’s newfound desire to have “dialogue” with Freemasonry? What of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s warning that Freemasonry is a “tool of Satan” or that

Freemasonry is in itself intrinsically not compatible with Christian or Catholic faith, it is intrinsically not compatible, because the nature of freemasonry is anti-Christian. They deny Christ, and they deny the objective truths, they promote relativism, which is contrary to the truth, to the Gospel. So they promote the doctrinal errors of the Masonic philosophy. This is incompatible with Christian and Catholic faith.

“And yet!” the astute and well-informed reader will object, “Just this week the pope rejected ‘the appointment of a masonic Lebanese ambassador’ to the Holy See! And don’t you remember how Francis said he wanted Cardinal Burke to cleanse the Soverign Military Order of Malta of Freemasonry?”

If our interlocutor were seeking to establish the self-contradictory modes of the present pontiff, his duty would be satisfied. The fact remains that the Pope is so little concerned with rejecting actual Freemasonic ideals that he has not once — not a single time — distanced himself from all of its endorsements of his pontificate. Neither has he made haste to remove those useful to him within the Vatican power structure who have long been suspected of membership. And he speaks constantly of immanentism, of humanism, of the environment, of the marginalized, of the values that promote man in the here and now — all while he dismissesCatholic eschatology and replaces it with something of his own making.

So if Francis does, in fact, disavow (in principle) the Freemasons who find such hope in him, we should remember that even the visionary members of the Alta Vendita, with their far-reaching ideals of infiltrating the Church such that their own would elect a pope, did not think they would own the papacy itself. “The Pope, whoever he may be,” they wrote, “will never come to the secret societies. It is for the secret societies to come to the Church…”

And so they have.

However you want to slice it, humanism leads to idolatry — the worship of man. It is why we were given the Novus Ordo, with its attendant focus on the community over worship. It’s why we have abandoned an ecumenism that seeks conversion. It’s why we tell people that it’s not their fault that they can’t stop sinning, and they should go ahead and receive the sacraments anyway so they don’t feel excluded. It’s why we have people who treat the pope as though he is a divine oracle, and somehow comprises supreme magisterial power over previously-defined truth, whether laid down by his predecessors or by God Himself in divine revelation.

And as my friend said to me at the denouement of our Monday phone call, “The worship of man is really just a thinly-veiled worship of Satan.”

“Our faith in the indefectibility of the Church is soon going to be tested…”

One of the things that originally prompted this reverie, other than reading LOTW, was an unusually personal and insightful post by Fr. Z:

Last night I had a hard dream that I was part of a firefighting crew, the kind that tries to control wildfires, such as dangerously erupt especially in time of drought.  The winds fanned the flames.  I awoke entirely exhausted.

This morning during the parish’s Solemn Mass, for which I was deacon, I had a pressing and strong presentiment of foreboding. I visualized pouring it into the chalice with the water I poured to be mixed with the wine and transformed… by God.

After the Mass, the priest celebrant and I went to a breakfast place and were seated next to a table of half a dozen firefighters in their ready gear.  Their truck was outside… one of the big ones… running.  I took this as part of my ongoing experience of portentous, looming urgency, whereupon I paid for their table.  The guy next to us bought us our breakfast, thus passing it on.  Good will multiplies.

And now a reading from my SMS thing…  This came in this morning from a lay friend, a father of four.  It is part of an SMS conversation between friends, clerical and lay.  The immediate topic: those who are purposely sowing confusion and ambiguity in the Church today:

Motus in fine velocior.  Our faith in the indefectibility of the Church is soon going to be tested and good people will legitimately choose different sides.  I am neither an alarmist nor a conspiracy theory [k]ook, but these people are evil.  …  It’s going to get SO much worse before it gets better.  Brace yourselves and cling to your beads, catechism, Breviary and Mass.

Motus in fine velocior. Motion accelerates when the end is near. This is a phrase we hear more and more often these days, as the concept transitions from a motto to a mantra.

The testing of our faith in the Church’s indefectibility, however, isn’t on the near horizon. It’s already here, and doing damage. I say this not to discourage anyone, but simply to be honest: I spent a good chunk of last week fighting off the tempting thought that if heretics are going to run the Church — and more to the point, if the pope himself can flatly contradict divine revelation, asserted as such by the teaching office of the Church — and they are all going to just get away with it, I might as well start sleeping in on Sundays.

Either he can get away with it, or he can’t. Either all of it is true, or it isn’t.

We are at this very moment living through a process by which a sitting pope is attempting to falsify Christ’s promises to the Church.

The center cannot hold. 

Cogent arguments have been made about whether a heretical pope may be deposed. These have been updated and expounded upon, based on certain recent events.

The difficulty for us — for you and for me — is knowing how long this can continue without redress. The practical question we are all asking ourselves is, “What does our faith demand of us? At what point do we find ourselves saying, ‘surely, this has gone too far’?” We need something to assuage our rising sense of fear. I am reminded of those times when, as a parent, I have been unable briefly to find one of my small children. It doesn’t take long before the small voice of concern — “Oh, he must be hiding under a bed or something” — turns into the shrill note of panic when every reasonable stone has been seemingly overturned.

We once had this go on long enough with our oldest son that we called the police, because we honestly thought someone had come by and taken him from the yard. (As it turned out, the child in question was hiding because he was embarrassed because of something he had done.) Another time, with another child, we could not find him because he had crawled inside a kitchen cabinet and shut the door, only to fall fast asleep. We looked everywhere but in the cupboards, until we were at our wits’ end and discovered him out of a sheer irrational desperation to check every unlikely place.

Both times, the truth was that our children were safe the whole time. Both times, it had become easy — even reasonable — to fear the worst.

I have long posited that the only reason Christ promised that the “gates of hell will not prevail” against the Church is because He knew full well that they would appear to do precisely that. He wanted us to remember those words at the very moment when it would seem all but certain that His promises were empty, and that all was truly lost. We are arriving at that juncture. Perhaps not for the first time in history, and certainly not for the last.

The Church may go into hiding. The Church may seem for a time to disappear. So we remember His promise. And we hold fast, whatever comes.