The Counterchurch: the Mystical Body of the Antichrist ~ reflecting on the words of Abp. Fulton J. Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is one of my favorite personalities of the 20th century along with St. Padre Pio, Venerable Solanus Casey and Dietrich von Hildebrand to name a few. When Sheen spoke, people listened, as the old EF Hutton commercial used to say. So what did Fulton Sheen have to say about the antichrist and the evil that was beginning to visit us . . . as we entered the end of an epoch? He said the following:

“We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.

 

The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.

 

Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.

 

The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.

 

A world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all Divine content, it will be the mystical body of the anti-christ. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from our Bishops.

 

The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”

 

Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?

 

The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves …

 

The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.

 

In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ …

 

But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.” __ Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25

Writing these things in 1948 brings to mind immediately the prophecies of Akita (cardinal against cardinal and bishop against bishop) to an much earlier prophecy that actually put a timestamp on these future tragic events in the Church.

“Thus I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of morals… As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes 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 procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church … In this supreme moment of need for the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” __ Our Lady or Good Success

There is no escaping the fact that our society and our Church has been on a steady decline since the middle of the 20th century. Its state at this moment seems tenuous at best and leads me, for one, to ask if Bergoglio may have perhaps picked the name Francis I for his name as a sort of parody . . . a coverup if you will. For it seems that Bergoglio may well have been aware of the following quote from St. Francis of Assissi:

“At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error…. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer.” __ St. Francis of Assisi shortly before his death, Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, R. Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250, with imprimatur by His Excellency William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham

All I know is that we seem to be in the clutches of a ‘destroyer’ of the faith and a great deceiver as well. I guess time will tell. “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”

Things Accelerate Toward the End – Prophecy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen – Roman Catholic Man

Fr Richard Heilman April 13, 2016

“The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid … because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue … however, Our Lady has already crushed its head” (Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima)

The Latin phrase, motus in fine velocior, is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period. I’ve heard it said that it means, “Things accelerate toward the end.” We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly could be marked as the end of an era. I wrote about the potential significance of the 100 years since Fatima, which could be the “100 years of Satan.” That 100 years concludes in 2017.

With the Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage (Which I’ve been calling our “Genesis 19 Moment“), along with many other events happening in the world, many wonder what kind of evil has been unleashed upon the world. Many of these events correspond to approved prophecies, most of which have been given in the past two centuries. Up until recent years, I was completely unaware of this prophecy attributed to Our Lady of Good Success, but many years prior to that, I had been saying that “something happened … something erupted in the 1960s …”

“Thus I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of morals… As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes 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 procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church … In this supreme moment of need for the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” -Our Lady of Good Success

“Shortly after the middle of the 20th century” … most certainly points to the infamous anti-authority, pro-hedonism 1960s, that ushered in unparalleled self-indulgence (the essence of the demonic) into our world. In the midst of this, our Church has not only suffered unprecedented losses in the sheer number of souls, but we are witnessing an epidemic of liturgical abuse and rampant sacrilege. In an article that speaks to this, I called this a “Stealth Arianism.” Many claim we very well could be in the throes of what is termed, “The Great Apostasy.”

Did Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophesy about the condition of (many parts of) our Church today?

“[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church … It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”

 

We are living in the days of the Apocalypse, the last days of our era. The two great forces – the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of the anti-Christ – are beginning to draw battle lines for the catastrophic contest.

 

The False prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit Church.

 

Christ’s Church the Catholic Church will be one; and the false Prophet will create the other.

 

The False Church will be worldly, ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions, forming some type of global association.

 

A world parliament of Churches. It will be emptied of all Divine content, it will be the mystical body of the anti-christ. The Mystical Body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot, and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from our Bishops.

 

The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as “I am Who am,” and the Devil as “I am who am not.”

 

Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first “red.” Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as “the Prince of this world,” whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect–and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?

 

The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves …

 

The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion–one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s.

 

In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ …

 

But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.

 

(Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West [Bobbs-Merril Company, Indianapolis, 1948], pp. 24-25)

Read more here: Things Accelerate Toward the End – Prophecy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen – Roman Catholic Man

Was Fulton Sheen a prophet? – Top Stories – Aleteia.org

Timeless words for our times

FR ROBERT MCTEIGUE, SJ   JUNE 29, 2016

Bacharach/GettyImages

 

You can usually make a pretty fair guess at a person’s age by looking at him. Is it possible to guess the age of words? Let’s give it a try. When were these words written?

“Thinking … is a difficult task; it is the hardest work a man can do—that is perhaps why so few indulge in it. Thought-saving devices have been invented that rival labor-saving devices in their ingenuity. Fine-sounding phrases like ‘Life is bigger than logic,’ or ‘Progress is the spirit of the age,’ go rattling by us like express trains, carrying the burden of those who are too lazy to think for themselves.”

Would you like a hint? They were written before the advent of Twitter, a facet of social media that may be misused as a thought-saving device. Now try to guess the age of these words:

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broad-minded. The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called tolerant and broad-minded.”

Those words appear to be of a very recent vintage, don’t they? They seem to be a contemporary and quite contrary response to the celebration of “tolerance” (and its famous cousin, “diversity”). Words like “tolerance,” “diversity” and “progress” can surely be misused by those who would rather lean on slogans than walk with reason. The two paragraphs above were written at the same time—in the year 1931! Decades before the misuse of social media facilitated lazy thinking, energetic sloganeering and “the dictatorship of relativism,” a generation before the advent of television, these words were penned by then-Father Fulton J. Sheen in his prophetic book, “Old Errors and New Labels.”

Source: Was Fulton Sheen a prophet? – Top Stories – Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Adherence to a Standard

The basis for all spirituality is adherence to a standard. In the case of Catholic Spirituality the standard is, of course, the definitive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church; including Her moral standard, as well as Her practices.

To borrow one of the late Fulton Sheen’s illustrations, let’s imagine ourselves sitting at a piano.

English: Pianist Mark Eisenman

When we strike any key on the instrument no one can say that we have hit a wrong note. However, in the context of playing a particular piece of music, many wrong notes are possible. The music to be played is a standard that must be followed precisely if we are to receive the applause that follows a successful rendition at a concert.

Our spiritual lives are very much like this. Our saints are like the virtuosos who garner much admiration after a difficult musical performance. We do not see or hear the mistakes previously made during practice nor are we made aware of the depth of the trials that these persons overcame in order to achieve their success. But rest assured that a struggle was a necessary prelude to all that they achieved.

The piano player made mistakes in practicing and worked them out. If they were beyond his ability to recognize and correct, he sought out a maestro or teacher who could give them musical exercises to overcome their shortfalls. But never did they decide to rewrite the score themselves in order that they might more easily play the piece or because they disagreed with some section of the musical piece. They adhered completely to the standard.

Likewise, a Catholic soul who desires to lead a spiritual life, who wishes to attempt Christ’s lofty goal to “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), must practice holiness like a virtuoso practices his instrument. When he stumbles and falls, he returns to his Maestro (the Church) for correction. It is through this never ending and meticulous process of failure, confession, absolution, and spiritual direction that the soul is purified and our Catholic Spirituality made sound. We don’t rely solely on our own abilities nor do we re-write the teachings of the Church to aid us in our journey. For then we have only substituted our private standard for that of the Church and our spirituality becomes as flawed as the musician who ‘does his own thing’ without regard to the music that he has been asked to play. Just as such a musician will not long be a member of an orchestra, so too those who create their own standards cannot long remain members of the Divine Orchestra the Holy Catholic Church unless one fully accepts the Divine Music and at least attempts to play the performance according to Her Standard.

The first step to a healthy spirituality then is the desire to play in the Heavenly Orchestra and to humbly submit to play only those notes that are written. The next step is to practice according to the rules those things that are difficult and to seek help in correcting those things with which we constantly have problems. Once the soul has begun to faithfully apply himself to this humble obedience (this training of the will) and has sought help through prayer, countless days of practice (making virtues habitual,  and through the utilization of appointed teachers within the Church, much progress in the Spiritual Life is assured.

In music one studies the theory of music, seeks help and listens to others who play well, while in Spirituality the soul studies the teachings, the moral laws and precepts, prays, practices the virtues, and acquaints themselves with the great saints in order that he might acquire their abilities which are not yet possessed in full. Imperfections and failures are certain along the way but with these basics one can proceed safely without danger to ones immortal soul. “For what will it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Remember that sloth or laxity is a capital sin that we must always be on guard to fight. Zeal for the Faith and zeal for Christ comes no other way: it requires spiritual exercise and slow, hard work.