New Article posted July 28, 2016:
The Antichrist and The Papacy of Pope Francis
And the Papacy of Pope Francis
“But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21: 28)
The above-quoted words of Our Lord were spoken after He had enumerated many of the evils that can befall his faithful followers – both at the end of time, and all those situations and foreshadowings which will prefigure the final confrontation between Christ and Antichrist, and between the City of God and the City of this world.
Jesus begins, appropriately, with a warning against following any of the many false messiahs who will precede His Second Coming: “Take heed you be not seduced; for many will come in my name, saying, I am he; and the time is at hand: go ye not therefore after them.” He then proceeds to enumerate a host of other evils which might indeed, on the natural level, force us to cast our heads downwards in despair and loss of faith: wars between nations and kingdoms; earthquakes, famines, and pestilences; terrors from heaven and other great signs; persecutions; delivering up “to the synagogues and into the prisons”, “dragging before kings and governors”; betrayal by parents, brethren, kinsmen, and friends; being put to death; being hated by all men for His name’s sake. A similar list is offered in Matthew 24.
It matters little whether we choose to apply Our Lord’s words to the Apostles themselves, to the times of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., or to the time immediately preceding the Final Judgment. Each of these applications is legitimate because the essential truths enumerated herein apply to all generations of Christians: the world necessarily hates Christ and His followers, and will wage unceasing and accelerating war against them until the final confrontation between the Antichrist and Christ.
But it is not necessarily this list of evils, to which the Christian life is subject, which is difficult for us to accept. If we have any knowledge of the Gospel, we must know these things to be inevitable. Rather, it is the “lifting up of our heads” while we are suffering such trials that provides the greatest challenge. Every manifestation of the spirit of Antichrist performs its unique seduction upon the faithful of that particular period in human history. It can be easy for us now to place things in perspective that occurred in the past – “How could Judas have been so blind?” – but it can be nigh unto impossible to possess such perspective when a new form of the outpouring of evil is upon us. It can overwhelm us with the sense that what we are now seeing is something entirely new which presents an unsolvable dilemma, that our faith is a chimera, that the Church has failed, and that Christ’s promises have failed Such is the real work of the spirit of Antichrist down through history, and thus the enormous importance of Our Lord’s words of warning and preparation.
The seduction of this spirit of Antichrist which we now face would seem the most poisonous and insidious in all of Christian history, and therefore presents an enormous temptation not only to despair, but to profound bitterness, loss of charity, schism, and sedevacantism. The following is written, hopefully, as a contribution to strengthening our faith, that we might lift our heads in the midst of the present crisis and rejoice in the promises of Christ and Our Lady.
In my article The War Against the Soul, which was written towards the beginning of the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, I wrote the following (I have made slight changes):
< Possibly the most mysterious passage of the New Testament is to be found in St. Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, in which he discusses the coming of the Antichrist. It reads as follows:
“And now you know what withholdeth [the coming of the Antichrist], that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way”(2 Thess 2:6-7).
Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, Hippolytus, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John of Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Augustine of Hippo all agreed in seeing “he who now holdeth” to be the Roman Empire and the Caesars who ruled this empire. The Roman Empire represented the force of law (despite all its tyrannies, injustices, and immoralities) which prevented the “man of lawlessness” from ascending to power.
The pagan Roman Empire fell in 476 AD. However, the restraining force of the Roman Empire against “the man of lawlessness” did not cease. This principle of continuity in the history of the Roman Empire was delineated with perspicuity by Pope Pius IX in his encyclical Cum Catholica Ecclesia:
“It is therefore, by a particular decree of Divine Providence that, at the fall of the Roman Empire and its partition into separate kingdoms, the Roman Pontiff, whom Christ made the head and center of his entire Church, acquired civil power. Certainly, it was by a most wise design of God Himself that in the midst of so great a multitude and variety of temporal princes, the Sovereign Pontiff enjoyed political liberty, which is so necessary for him to exercise his spiritual power, his authority, and his jurisdiction over the whole world.”
In other words, the “bottom line” behind the rule of law and social order now passed from the realm of physical force into the spiritual realm – the rule of Christian Truth and Charity. This is what built Christian Civilization. And since all of this is a gift of God through His Church, which is built upon the rock of the Papacy, it is the Roman Pontiff who must be seen as the one who “witholdeth” the rise of the Antichrist.
We might be tempted to conclude that such a “taking out of the way” of the Pope should be interpreted physically, but I believe this to be an inadequate explanation. Quite a number of Popes have been taken away from Rome and/or held prisoner by precursors of the Antichrist, and yet the moral force necessary to restrain the ascension of Antichrist remained intact.
Nor can this “taking away” be meant to signify that for a period of time the Chair of Peter is unoccupied. The world has already experienced extended Papal interregnums, and these have not provided the conditions necessary for the ascension of Antichrist.
All of this should tell us that what we are dealing with here is the possibility of the interior intellectual and moral force of the Papacy being eliminated or diminished in such a way as to create a sufficiently pervasive spiritual vacuum into which the Antichrist will be able to gain entrance and ascend to power. It is this spiritual vacuum which I have detailed in all my articles concerning the philosophy and theology of Joseph Ratzinger. I do not intend to rehash all that here. But there is one quote from Joseph Ratzinger early writings which I believe epitomizes the extent to which the once absolutely certain intellectual and moral force of the Church and the Papacy has been reduced to a small, timid, and virtually inconsequential voice:
“To say this is to imply that faith must clearly adjust itself to an intellectual pluralism that cannot ever be reversed, and within this intellectual climate must present itself as a comprehensible offer of meaning, even if it can find no prolegomena in a commonly accepted philosophical system. That means, in the end, that the meaning which man needs becomes accessible in any case only through a decision for a meaningful structure. It may not be proved, but can be seen as meaningful." (Faith and the Future, p. 74-75)”
Can we even begin to imagine any Pope from the time of Peter up until Vatican Council II conceivably making a statement which so reeked of spiritual castration? If this was still the position of Pope Benedict XVI, then it gives ample testimony to a Papacy that was very close to being in that position of philosophical, theological, and moral bankruptcy as to constitute its having been “taken out of the way”. >
This bankruptcy has been dramatically accentuated during the Papacy of Francis, not because his philosophical and theological orientation and ideas are much more radical than that of Benedict, but because Francis, unlike Benedict, is a troubadour loudly and crudely acting out these heresies and demonic errors upon the world’s stage. And, contrary to the fantasies of many Traditionalists, it is clear that Benedict approves. At the recent ceremony (June 28, 2016) featuring Pope Francis honoring Benedict on the 65th anniversary of his priesthood, Benedict stated, “Thank you, Holy Father, for your goodness, which from the first moment of your election has struck me every day of my life. We hope that you can go forward with all of us on this path of divine mercy, showing us the path of Jesus, toward Jesus, toward God.” As I have clearly delineated in other articles, Pope Francis’ “path of mercy” is constituted by a silence towards Christ’s Truth, which facilitates an inclusiveness towards evil. Pope Benedict’s fulsome embrace of this agenda is proof-positive that his “hermeneutics of continuity” ultimately devolves into a simple prostitution to the evils of this world.
Concerning the “leaven” of the Pharisees, Our Lord said, “For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops.” The consequences of what was spoken in the darkness of Joseph Ratzinger’s philosophy and theology are now being shouted, through the words and actions of Pope Francis, from every headline, and carried on every wave of the media. It is a spiritual miasma which penetrates everywhere, and receives from a jubilant world the exclamation, “He is one of us!” - “He has been taken away!”
It is important to admit to ourselves that our present situation is without precedent in the history of the Papacy. The Church has certainly had Popes who were profoundly immoral. It has had Popes who have been wrong in their personal views in regard to some point of doctrine, or who made horrendously bad juridical decisions. But never has it had a Pope who believed that Divine Revelation was itself an evolutionary phenomenon (as does Benedict and, apparently, Francis), and who believes that a bogus mercy trumps Catholic doctrine (as Francis has explicitly expressed), and who loudly and triumphantly proclaims this to be so. We are therefore faced with a situation, which seems to have never been anticipated in all of the sermons and writings of the early Church Fathers (and others down through history) concerning the subject of the Antichrist and his rise to power – that a Pope himself could become so interiorly corrupted, philosophically and theologically, as to become the cause of his own being “taken away” as the effective intellectual and moral force which prevents the rise of Antichrist.
I wish to be quite clear in stating here that none of this means that I am predicting the immediate rise of the Antichrist. It has always been acceptable in Christian tradition to view the Second Coming of Christ as immanent, but has always been folly to claim its immediacy. Our Lady of Fatima prophesied the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart would come first. But it is also true that St. John spoke of “many antichrists” preceding the final “man of lawlessness”, that the spirit of Antichrist has increasingly poisoned and contaminated what might loosely be called the collective and historical consciousness of humanity over the centuries, and that this present infection amounts to a huge step “forward” towards this eventual unfolding of apocalyptic prophesy.
Recently, I read Cardinal Henry Edward Manning’s series of four lectures titled The Present Crisis of the Holy See: A Warning About Antichrist. While Cardinal Manning did not at to all seem to anticipate the present interior crisis of the Papacy (or that such a crisis was possible), he did indeed understand that the “one who holdeth” was the Pope:
“We have now come nearly to a solution of that which I stated in the beginning, namely, how it is that the power which hinders the revelation of the lawless one is not only a person but a system, and not only a system but a person. In one word, it is Christendom and its head; and therefore, in the person of the Vicar of Christ, and in that twofold authority with which, by Divine Providence he has been invested, we see the direct antagonist to the principle of disorder. The lawless one, who knows no law, human or divine, nor obeys any but his own will, has no antagonist on earth more direct that the Vicar of Jesus Christ….”
Cardinal Manning also offers the following remarkable analysis and metaphor for this process of the historical unfolding of the spirit of Antichrist:
“I shall hope to show hereafter that the antagonism between two persons [between Antichrist and Christ, with the Pope as the latter’s Vicar] is an antagonism also between two societies, and that as our Divine Lord is the Head and Representative of all the truth and justice of the world from the beginning, so Antichrist, be he who or what he may, will be the head and representative of all the falsehood and wrong, which has been accumulating for these 1800 years, in the heresies, schisms, spiritual seditions, intellectual infidelities, social disorders and political revolutions of the anti-Catholic movement of the world".
“Such is the great deep upon which the Christian society of the world is resting. From time to time it has lifted itself up with preternatural power, and has made the Christian order of Europe vibrate and reel. Then again it has seemed to subside into a calm. But no one with any discernment can fail to see that it is deeper, mightier, and more widely spread now [Manning writes this in the year 1861) than ever. That this antichristian power will one day find its head, and for a time prevail in this world, is certain from prophecy. But this cannot be until ‘he who holdeth [the Pope] shall be taken out of the way….”
“But such is the state of the world, and to this end we are rapidly advancing. We are told that Etna has one hundred and sixty craters, besides the two vast mouths which, joined together, form the immense crater commonly so called; on all its sides it is perforated and honeycombed by channels and by mouths, from which in centuries past the lava has, from time to time burst forth. I can find no better illustration of the state of Christendom at this moment. The Church of God rests upon the basis of natural society, on the foundations of the old Roman Empire, on the civilization of the heathen nations of the world, which for a time has be consecrated, consolidated, preserved, raised, sanctified; but beneath the Church is working continually the mystery of iniquity which already wrought in the Apostles’ time, and is culminating at this moment to its strength, and gaining the ascendency. What, I ask, was the French revolution of 1789, with all its bloodshed, blasphemy, impiety, and cruelty, in all its masquerade of horror and of mockery – what was it but an outbreak of the anti-christian spirit – the lava font beneath the mountain? And what was the outbreak in 1830 and 1848 but precisely the same principle of Antichrist working beneath Christian society, forcing its way upward? In the year 1848 it opened simultaneously [in Revolutions} its many mouths in Berlin, in Vienna, in Turin, in Florence, in Naples, and in Rome itself. In London it heaved and struggled, but its time was not yet. What is all this but the spirit of lawlessness lifting itself against God and man, - the principle of schism, heresy, and infidelity running fused into one mass, and pouring itself forth wherever it can force its way, making craters for its stream wherever the Christian society becomes weak? And this, as it has gone on for centuries, so it will go on until the time shall come when ‘that which holds’ shall be taken out of the way’.”
Cardinal Manning was convinced in 1861 (155 years ago) that Christian Society, the Church, and the Papacy were experiencing attacks by the forces of Antichrist greater than ever before. In the above quote he attributes the intensity of this attack to the Church’s weakness, a weakness which he sees as mainly deriving from depriving the Pope of his temporal sovereignty, and therefore correlating to attacks from without. Cardinal Manning did not seem to anticipate the extraordinary degree to which the Church interiorly would, in the future, be found lying down in spiritual fornication with its enemies, and thus be the source of its own weakness. We need only compare the Papacy of Pius IX to that of Francis in order to understand the difference. But I think we might also conclude that, had he been living in our own time, he would have very likely perceived the providential meaning of what is now occurring with the Papacy of Pope Francis. The “lava” of Antichrist has increased geometrically precisely because the spirit of Antichrist has invaded the thinking and actions of the Pope himself. The same may of course be said of a great many others – clergy, religious, and laity – within the Church. However, there is no greater chastisement which could befall the Church than for God to allow a man to be Pope who, while prevented by God from compromising the indelible Marks of the Church, is yet primarily a natural man – seeped in philosophical and theological error, redolent with the hubris of his own agenda, rejoicing in “making a mess”, contemptuous of those who hold firmly to absolute truth and defined dogma, enamored of a false mercy, oblivious to the primacy of the concept of God’s Rule, masquerading a false humility, and rejoicing in his own role as a game-changer.
“Truth Shall Be Cast Down on the Ground”
It is clearly taught in Holy Scriptures and confirmed by the unanimous teaching of the early Church Fathers that the Antichrist at the apex of his power will prevail over, and crush (Daniel 7:25), the Church, even to the point of the total suppression of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In Daniel 8: 12, we read:
“And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground….”
Cardinal Manning, commenting on the prophecies of Daniel, concludes:
“The holy Fathers who have written upon the subject of Antichrist, and of these prophecies of Daniel, without a single exception, as far as I know, and they are Fathers both of the East and of the West, the Greek and the Latin Church – all of them unanimously – say that in the latter end of the world, during the reign of Antichrist, the holy sacrifice of the altar will cease.”
We may certainly therefore conclude that at this point the Pope is “taken away” even in the physical sense. But it is equally clear from the words of St. Paul in 2 Thess 2:3-11 that there is a uniquely different sort of “taking away” of the Pope, which precedes the final triumph of the Antichrist over the Church, and enables his rise to power;
“And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: that you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”
I have purposely rendered the words “And then” in bold in the above passage. There is a sequence of events depicted here in which we must clearly perceive that there is a taking away of “he who now holdeth” preceding the Antichrist’s actual ascent to worldwide dominion. And, especially relevant to our present subject, there is a specific delineation of what constitutes the working of the “mystery of iniquity” that leads to this “weakening” and betrayal of the power of the Papacy which heretofore had prevented the rise to power of Antichrist:
“And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”
It is “love of truth” which is here clearly proposed as the fundamental passion of the human soul which restrains the Antichrist. Jesus Christ is the Word of Truth Who is generated eternally from the Father, and therefore it only makes perfect sense that the path to Anti-Christ should be paved with betrayal of, or silence in regard to, Truth. It is this silence of Pope Francis– this interior “casting down of truth” in the name of a false mercy and inclusiveness – which now facilitates the rise of the man of lawlessness.
This does not mean that the papacy of Francis will lead directly into the reign of Antichrist. Our Lady has promised that her triumph will precede this final chastisement. But it is also true that there is a kind of collective consciousness involved in human history – especially entrenched in the memory and accumulated knowledge of humanity – which has been most profoundly poisoned over the centuries by the hubris of reductive scientific thinking, avarice, and technological progress, and which has grown like a massive cancer within the human heart, choking off any real possibility of returning to the full Truth of Christ and the integral living of the Beatitudes. This “lava” of iniquity will rise again to the surface shortly after Our Lady’s Triumph, and constitute the final blasphemy and betrayal of the greatest gift of God since Our Lord’s Incarnation – the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There will then be no recourse left except the direct intervention and victory of Christ. In regard to the present oppression and weakness of the Church, Cardinal Manning writes the following:
“There is in store for the Church of God a resurrection and an ascension, a royalty and dominion, a recompense of glory for all it has endured. Like Jesus, it needs must suffer on the way to its crown; yet crowned it shall be with Him eternally. Let no one, then, be scandalized if the prophecy speak of sufferings to come. We are fond of imagining triumphs and glories for the Church on earth – that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations, and the world to be converted, and all enemies subdued, and I know not what, - until some ears are impatient of hearing that there is in store for the Church a time of terrible trial: and so we do as the Jews of old, who looked for a conqueror, a king, and for prosperity; and when their Messiah came in humility and in passion, they did not know Him.”
We must understand, however, that the treachery of the Jews – which it is now our unfortunate role to imitate – was something much more than merely looking for a triumphant and worldly God and kingdom. More deeply, it was rooted in an hypocrisy and betrayal by which God and His Gifts (including Faith itself) were seen as “monuments” to be possessed, rather than passionately and militantly believed and lived. Much of our modern “triumphalism” and Pharisaism, especially in the centuries preceding Vatican II, has been nourished by a mushrooming infidelity to the teachings of Christ (especially the Beatitudes), including the teachings of the great Popes whose absence we now lament. God gave us these men (these gifts), we largely “consumed them and their teachings in our concupiscences”, and continued to prostitute ourselves ever more deeply to the world. And God has largely now taken the moral force of the Papacy away in chastisement of our infidelities and prostitutions. At a certain point, this will devolve upon a situation in which the Church is apparently totally crushed and defeated, and then the victory will be seen as Christ’s alone. Again, in the words of Cardinal Manning:
“And from whence, I ask, is deliverance to come? Is there on earth any power to intervene? Is there any king, prince, or potentate, that has the power to interpose either his will or his sword for the protection of the Church? Not one; and it is foretold it should be so. Neither need we desire it, for the will of God seems to be otherwise. But there is One Power which will destroy all antagonists; there is One Person who will break down and smite small as the dust of the summer threshing-floor all the enemies of the Church, for it is He who will consume His enemies ‘with the Spirit of His mouth’, and destroy them ‘with the brightness of His coming’. It seems as if the Son of God were jealous lest any one should vindicate His authority. He has claimed the battle to Himself; He has taken up the gage which has been cast down against Him; and prophecy is plain and explicit that the last overthrow of evil will be His; that it will be wrought by no man, but by the Son of God; that all the nations of the world may know that He, and He alone, is King, and that He, and He alone, is God.”
It would seem necessary to add that the “jealousy” of God is not the same as our jealousy and that, had His Bride been faithful, there would have been no such jealousy or necessary chastisement, but rather blessing and triumph. It would also therefore seem appropriate to say (as theologically incorrect as it may first appear) that God will have no other choice. In the final day, the world, having consumed even the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in its concupiscences and double-mindedness, the victory will belong entirely to Jesus Christ, and to those who, having been stripped of all else, possess the Word alone.
Lift Up Your Heads
We therefore lower our heads in despair and fear only to the extent that we place our hopes in the gifts of Christ rather than in Christ Himself. Christ’s victory is certain, and all that we experience now is only testimony to its immanence. It matters little whether or not this immanence is accomplished during our own lives, just as it was of little consequence to St. Peter or Paul. In all things we need to lift our hearts and minds in rejoicing that God is All in All, and will achieve the final total victory. This, after all, is the bottom line of the “nakedness” of the Christian life, a nakedness which, as we have seen, can reach even to the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice of the altar. We rejoice in the coming victory of Our Lord, and it is this joy which is the final testimony of our faith, and to the life of charity which is its supernatural expression. This is the ultimate test as to whether we possess the Heart of Jesus – as to whether we lift up our heads, or cover them and seek refuge in the caves of self-despair and loss of faith. It is this test which Judas failed, and which hopefully we shall not.
New Article, Posted June 18, 2016: Slouching Towards Lund to Be Conceived
Note: My four articles on Amoris Laetitia are now linked at the bottom of the Menu on the left side of this page.
Slouching Towards Lund to Be Conceived
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.…
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
(from The Second Coming, W. B. Yeats, 1919)
Some might consider it inappropriate in an article such as this to quote Yeats, who was a Gnostic (Theosophy and Rosicrucianism). Sometimes, however, a pagan may indeed be prophetic and, if he is an artist, truly poignant. Yeats believed that at the end of the “gyre” (an historical period of about 2,000 years) following the life of Christ, the spiritual anarchy described in the above passage would descend upon us. We are now there. As an extension of the extraordinarily powerful imagery in the above poem, I would ask the reader to consider the possibility that the already conceived, but not yet born, spirit of Antichrist will pass through Lund, Sweden in October of 2016, and here will receive that form which is to be nourished until the Son of Perdition (2Thess 2:3) makes his appearance upon the world stage.
Ever since the rise of intense ecumenical activity after Vatican Council II, a special emphasis has been placed on Catholic-Lutheran relations. It was of course Luther who began the revolt by which half of Europe was lost to the Catholic Faith. Catholic civilization has been in catastrophic decline ever since. Within Lutheran philosophy and theology lie all the principles of this plunge into what is now being predicted by many as “the death of Christianity”.
In my recent article titled The Dream of Nabuchodonosor, I examined the errors and deceptions regarding the doctrine of Justification to be found in the 2013 document titled From Conflict to Communion (the culmination of 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation). It was, of course, Luther’s perverse concept of Justification which always has been the primary source of contention between Catholic and Lutheran theology; and there could never be any hope for any “reunion” (except genuine conversion on the part of Lutherans), unless a false agreement about this doctrine should first be declared. This was first accomplished through the issuance of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999, and then basically repeated in From Conflict to Communion. It is this latter document which will form the foundation for what will occur in Lund this coming October.
It is one thing, however, for bishops and theologians to spin their lies in documents. It is altogether another thing to establish a unity of hearts in practice and worship. After all, a very small percentage of the laity ever read such documents. Somehow these lies must be incarnated in pastoral practice. It is not therefore an accident that the document which will be the foundation of the Common Prayer and celebration in Lund is titled From Conflict to Communion. It is almost certain that the eventual goal of this event will be the recognition of the right of Lutherans to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion in Catholic churches. It is then Inter-communion which will act as the river of darkness enabling these lies to penetrate the minds and hearts of the Catholic faithful.
I must also mention the role that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia has played in eventually eliminating barriers to Inter-communion. The Catholic concept of Charity and Sanctifying Grace, which has been the traditional defense against such sacrilege, is therein heretically falsified and denied. This is examined in a four-part series of articles on my website. As I point out, it would seem very telling that the “”Celebration” in Lund is to follow close upon the heels of the issuance of Amoris Laetitia.
However, inter-communion between Lutherans and Catholics also necessitates the “solution” of very serious, specific doctrinal differences in regard to the Eucharist and the Mass. In its hunger for false unity, From Conflict to Communion proves itself again up to the task of deceitfully falsifying Catholic doctrine in this regard. There are 22 paragraphs in this document which deal directly with the Eucharist and the Mass.
As is the case with the Catholic Church’s doctrine of Justification, the great bulwark protecting Catholic doctrine concerning the Eucharist is the Council of Trent. And just as From Conflict to Communion undermines and contradicts Trent in regard to the doctrine concerning Justification, so it does the same in regard to the doctrines of Transubstantiation and the nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
After stating that Luther’s notion of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist was that He was present “in, with, and under” the bread and wine (Consubstantiation), which “is analogous to the union of the divine and human natures in Christ”, From Conflict to Communion then proceeds to undermine Trent’s teaching with the following:
“Although the Council of Trent admitted that we can hardly express with words the manner of his presence and distinguished the doctrine of the conversion of elements from its technical explanation, it however declared, ‘the holy Catholic Church has suitably and properly called this change transubstantiation’. This concept seemed, in the Catholic view, to be the best guarantee for maintaining the real presence of Jesus Christ in the species of bread and wine and for assuring that the full reality of Jesus Christ is present in each of the species.”
Notice the verbs that are here applied to the Church’s infallible teaching: “admitted” and “seemed”. It is as though in defining the Eucharistic change as transubstantiation at the Council of Trent, we must now view the Church as having been a tremulous young lady who was not at all sure of what she was doing. Quite to the contrary, Trent was completely bold, masculine, and assured in proclaiming the following:
“If anyone saith that, in the sacred and holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation; let him be anathema.”
This is not an “admission” of something which might “seem” to be true, but rather a bold proclamation of absolute Truth itself. It is a direct condemnation of Luther’s teaching, and a condemnation and excommunication of anyone who denies the Church’s teaching concerning transubstantiation.
What is more, it is profoundly deceptive to state, as does From Conflict to Communion, that Trent “distinguished the doctrine of the conversion of elements from its technical explanation”, implying therein that Trent somehow “admitted” that the Eucharistic conversion was a total mystery possessing no elements corresponding to human categories of thought and expression. While fully respecting the fact that, as Trent itself declares, Our Lord is in the Eucharist “by a manner of existing…we can scarcely express it in words”, it yet does indeed offer a quite technical and simple explanation of the metaphysical manner in which this conversion takes place. And it is this explanation – this doctrine of Transubstantiation – that Trent declares binding on the minds and hearts of all Catholics.
However, the “arts entirely new” which From Conflict to Communion spins around the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation, in its attempts to whittle away at the insurmountable distances between Catholic and Lutheran doctrine, are almost “innocent” when compared with the deception practiced in its treatment of the Eucharist as Sacrifice.
The Eucharistic Sacrifice
It would first seem necessary to offer a short explanation of Luther’s own view of the Catholic Mass. This is “aptly” uncovered in Article II of The Smalcald Articles, which were written by Luther in 1537, constitutes an integral document of the Lutheran Book of Concord, and was intended by Luther to be presented at a Council called by the Pope in Mantua. This Council did not actually come to fruition, buts its aims were gloriously achieved at the Council of Trent.
Herein, Luther writes the following (excerpts):
“That the Mass in the Papacy must be the greatest and most horrible abomination, as it directly and powerfully conflicts with this chief article, and yet above and before all other popish idolatries it has been the chief and most specious.”
“For it is but a pure invention of men….”
“This article concerning the Mass will be the whole business of the Council. (The Council will perspire most over, and be occupied with this article concerning the Mass.) For if it were (although it would be) possible for them to concede to us all the other articles, yet they could not concede this…. Thus we are and remain eternally separated and opposed to one another.”
“In addition to all this, this dragon’s tail, (I mean) the Mass, has begotten a numerous vermin-brood of manifold idolatries.” [Luther then proceeds to examine Catholic beliefs and practices such as the belief that the Mass works to the remission of sins and the reception of grace, the belief in purgatory, Masses for living and deceased souls, prayers to saints and pilgrimages for souls both living and dead, veneration of relics, and the granting of indulgences as being examples of the “vermin-brood of manifold idolatries” which are the “children” of the Catholic Mass].
I offer the above analysis of Luther’s view of the Mass in order to first establish that the hypocrisy and duplicity practiced by Catholics at the ecumenical activity in Lund will be fully matched on the side of Lutherans. Repeating Luther’s own words, we “are and remain eternally separated and opposed to one another”.
On the Catholic side, the document From Conflict to Communion again treats the Council of Trent as a young, inexperienced maiden, more than slightly befuddled and unsure of herself:
“As a result of the loss of an integrative concept of commemoration, Catholics were faced with the difficulty of the lack of adequate categories with which to express the sacrificial character of the eucharist. Committed to a tradition going back to patristic times, Catholics did not want to abandon the identification of the eucharist as a real sacrifice even while they struggled to affirm the identity of this eucharistic sacrifice with the unique sacrifice of Christ. The renewal of sacramental and liturgical theology as articulated in the Second Vatican Council was needed to revitalize the concept of commemoration (anamnesis).”
The notion that the doctrine defined in regard to the Eucharistic Sacrifice at the Council of Trent was the “result of the loss of an integrative concept of commemoration” is indeed blasphemous. In Chapter I of Trent’s Doctrine on the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church Fathers at Trent proclaimed the following:
"He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the Cross unto God the Father, by means of His death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the Last Supper, on the night in which He was betrayed, - that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the Cross, might be represented, and the memory [anamnesis] thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit – declaring Himself constituted a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedech, He offered up to God the Father His own Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine and, under the symbols of those same things, He delivered (His own Body and Blood) to be received by His Apostles, whom He then constituted priest of the New Testament; and by those words, ‘Do this in commemoration of me,’ He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood to offer them; even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught.”
Having established the fact that Trent does indeed fully see the Mass as a Memorial or “Commemoration” (anamnesis), we would be blind not to see from the context of the above passage that this “remembering” far surpasses any other sort of human memory both in its cause and its effects. The following passage from Chapter II makes this even more clear:
“And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, Who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the Holy Synod teaches that this sacrifice is truly propitiary, and that by means thereof this is effected that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one, to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreeably to a tradition of the Apostles.”
There could be no greater integrative “concept of commemoration” than this dogmatic teaching of the Council of Trent. There is here no immature “struggle to affirm the identity of this Eucharistic sacrifice with the unique sacrifice of Christ.” There is only the perfection of Divine inspiration and condescension to the mind of man.
It needs also to be noted that just as was the case with the doctrine of Justification, so here with the doctrine concerning the Sacrifice of the Mass, From Conflict to Communion is intent upon portraying the alleged confusion of Trent finally finding its remedy and cure in Vatican Council II. It is simply a lie. What is at stake here is the denial of Trent.
"God our sustenance, bring us together at your eucharistic table, nurture
within and among us a communion rooted in your love. Your mercy endures
forever! Hear our prayer"!
(Intercessory prayer from the Common Prayer Service to be conducted in Lund)
The final great barrier to Inter-communion between Lutherans and Catholics is, of course, the Priesthood, and the question of its legitimacy. It is infallible Catholic teaching that the ordained priesthood is one of the seven Sacraments, and that only a validly ordained priest, whose ordination is derived through the powers of Apostolic Succession, can confect a valid Eucharist. Thus, the Council of Trent:
“Sacrifice and priesthood are, by the ordinance of God, in such wise conjoined, as that both have existed in every law. Whereas, therefore, in the New Testament, the Catholic Church has received, from the institution of Christ, the holy visible Sacrifice of the Eucharist; it must needs also be confessed that there is, in that Church, a new, visible and external priesthood, into which the old has been translated. And the Sacred Scriptures show, and the tradition of the Catholic Church has always taught, that this priesthood was instituted by the same Lord our Saviour, and that to the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood was the power delivered of consecrating, offering and administering His Body and Blood, as also of forgiving and retaining sins.”
It is fully admitted by the document From Conflict to Communion that Luther and his fellow-travelers could find no bishops to ordain ministers, that they themselves did not begin “ordaining” ministers until 1537, and that neither Luther nor his cohorts and followers considered Holy Orders a Sacrament conferring a power unique to the ordained priesthood. Rather, while believing that there were those called by the community to ministry (thus constituting a ministry of authority, but not of unique “powers”), he believed that all the faithful possessed all the powers of the priesthood of Christ, and that all were priests. Rightly, therefore, does the Council of Trent also teach:
“Furthermore, the sacred and holy synod teaches that, in the ordination of bishops, priests and of the other orders, neither the consent, nor vocation, nor authority, whether of the people or of any civil power or magistrate whatsoever, is required in such wise as that, without this, the ordination is invalid; yea rather doth it decree that all those who, being only called and instituted by the people, or by the civil power and magistrate, ascent to the exercise of these ministrations, and those who of their own rashness assume them to themselves, are not ministers of the Church, but are to be looked upon as thieves and robbers who have not entered by the door.”
It is absolutely clear therefore that Lutherans do not possess a valid priesthood, and equally certain that they do not possess a valid Eucharist. Acting very much like the confused and wimpish caricature with which From Conflict to Communion has consistently tried to paint the Council of Trent, it declares:
“One of the remaining questions is whether the Catholic Church can recognize the ministry of the Lutheran churches. Together Lutherans and Catholics can work out the relationship between the responsibility for the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the sacraments and the office of those ordained for this work.”
Later, this document goes even further:
“In the course of history, the Lutheran ministerial office has been able to fulfill its task of keeping the church in the truth so that nearly five hundred years after the beginning of the Reformation it was possible to declare a Catholic-Lutheran consensus on the basic truth of the doctrine of justification [as explored in my article The Dream of Nabuchodonosor, this statement is a blatant falsification], If, according to the judgment of the work of the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Spirit uses ‘ecclesial communities’ as means of salvation, it could seem that this work of the Spirit would have implications for some mutual recognition of ministry. Thus, the office of ministry presents both considerable obstacles to common understanding and also hopeful perspectives for rapprochement.”
As pointed out by Pope Pius XI, there can be no rapprochement except through conversion of those in heresy to the fullness of Truth and Life to be found only in the Catholic Church. There can be no legitimate Inter-communion for those living under manifold heresies. If by holding firmly to this position we are accused of lacking charity and mercy, then so be it. St. Teresa of Avila, who was born two years before Luther proclaimed his 95 Theses, and is noted for her great charity towards souls, simply and accurately described Lutheranism as “that wretched sect”. It remains so to this day.
From Conflict to Communion is a tissue of lies. But the institution of these lies into the life-blood of Catholic belief and practice is already underway. In November of 2015, during an evening Prayer Service at Rome’s Evangelic Lutheran Church, Pope Francis was asked by the Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband about receiving Holy Communion. Part of his reply consisted in the following: (quoting from an article by Edward Pentin): "'Doctrine', he said ‘is a difficult word to understand – but I ask myself: don’t we have the same Baptism? If we have the same Baptism, shouldn’t we be walking together?’” And further, “Life is always bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism, one Lord. ‘One faith, one baptism, one Lord’. This is what Paul tells us, and then take the consequences from there.” He again told the lady, “I wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it is not my competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord, and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.” Clearly, he was saying that she should go forward, but that as of right now he could do nothing to give it official endorsement”. Next stop, Lund.
Secondly, in January of 2016, a Lutheran group from Finland, led by bishop Samuel Salmi of Oulu, received Holy Communion in St. Peter’s, despite indicating to the priests present that they were ineligible to do so. The priests were fully aware that the group was Lutheran. The Lutherans were in Rome for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and had previously met with Pope Francis.
Interestingly, one of the things Pope Francis said to the Lutheran woman mentioned above was that the answer to her question was “not my competence”, but “should be left to theologians”. As clearly evidenced in the case of the Synod on the Family, the theologians are selected to implement Pope Francis’ agenda. The public posture is humility, the hidden agenda is revolution.
Word vs. Silence
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37)
As I have said before, the document From Conflict to Communion is surely the most demonic document ever to have come forth from a Vatican office. It falsifies Catholic doctrine in relation to Justification, the Eucharist, Ministry, Scripture and Tradition (which I have not covered here), and the Church. In the first paragraph of this article, I stated that what will occur in Lund on October 31, 2016 – all of it being immersed in the spiritual and theological lies of this document – will constitute that “form” of the spirit of Antichrist which will be nourished until his actual coming upon the world stage. This “form” is perfectly formulated in two of the Five Ecumenical Imperatives declared in From Conflict to Communion, and which are to be at the heart of the Common Prayer to be read at the celebration in the Lund Lutheran Cathedral (stolen from Catholics in 1536). The first imperative reads as follows:
“The first imperative: Catholics and Lutherans should always begin from the perspective of unity and not from the point of view of division in order to strengthen what is held in common even though the differences are more easily seen and experienced.”
The fourth imperative, with its accompanying paragraph of elaboration, reads thus:
“242. Catholics and Lutherans have the task of disclosing afresh to fellow members the understanding of the gospel and the Christian faith as well as previous church traditions. Their challenge is to prevent this rereading of tradition from falling back into the old confessional oppositions.” [emphasis on this sentence is mine].
“The fourth imperative: Lutherans and Catholics should jointly rediscover the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ for our time.”
In other words, the fundamental principles of this new “form” of both Catholic and Lutheran theology and life are threefold: 1) Begin from the perspective of a falsely fabricated Unity; 2) Do not “fall back” into doctrinal (”confessional) differences; 3) Do all of this in the spirit of “rediscovering” the “Gospel for our time”. And, of course, we must add a fourth principle, which is clearly that of Pope Francis: “Go forward” with Inter-communion.
In other words, for Catholics, it is required that we be Silent about the revealed truths we have received from Jesus Christ, and that we adapt ourselves to the modern world. This is a precise inversion of the most fundamental commission of Christ – to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples and nations (Matt. 28:19), and to remain untouched by the world:
“I have given them my word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world (John 17:15-16).”
It was 52 years ago that the Catholic Ecumenical movement was given the blessing of Vatican Council II in the Conciliar document Unitatis redintegratio. Therein we read: “It is, of course, essential that the doctrine [Catholic] be presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures it genuine and certain meaning.” The document From Conflict to Communion, its Five Ecumenical Imperatives, and the extraordinary lies and deceptions embodied in its teaching, is profound testimony that such false irenicism and non-presentation (Silence) were genetically (so to speak) part of the entire ecumenical movement from the beginning. If they had listened to Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, they would never have been so foolish as to even begin.
Increasingly, I meet Catholics who are aware of the horror of what is going on within their Church, and whose attitude now consists in reading nothing, following nothing, doing nothing, and simply waiting for things to change. They expected Pope Francis to retire within 3 or 4 years, and he says now that he will not retire. They wait for the election of a new Pope, and yet do not take into account that the Cardinal electors are now in the process of all being replaced by Pope Francis. They continue to pray, but do not take into account that standing up for the Truth of Christ, to the best of one’s abilities, is also a demand of the Gospel and not just an option. Failure to do so can constitute a grave sin of omission, and make “prayer” not seemly at all:
“But men that speak truth shall be found with her [Wisdom], and shall advance, even till they come to the sight of God. Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner. For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth….(Ecclesiasticus 15:19-20)
What is happening is not “hermeneutics of continuity”; and it is not legitimate “development”. It cannot be interpreted in the light of the magisterium. It is evil, towards which our silence is the surrender of spiritual death.
The Antichrist will be nourished in the Womb of such Catholic Silence, and without divine intervention, will be born of its implicit blessing. We must pray constantly for such intervention.
The coming of Antichrist has of course been predicted many times before. It may indeed be true that, given any strictly human considerations, he would have arisen in the past, but was prevented by divine intervention. Based on the message of Fatima, we expect such intervention again before his final ascension to the world stage. But, while there is only one Man of Sin at the end of time, there are, in the words of St. John “many antichrists” and many chastisements on our journey towards this Final Confrontation. It would appear that before Our Lady’s Triumph we may expect the worst, and that we will be required to speak our word.
It is not enough to pray; we must also stand and say, No. It is a word for which even the most illiterate and humble person is responsible. And we should do so now, lest we be whittled down to a mere stump of Christianity, lacking the grace and fortitude to stand with Christ: “He that is not with me, is against me….For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matt. 12: 30, 37).
(Note: The Dream of Nabuchodonosor, which is a prequel to the above article, is linked here: http://www.waragainstbeing.com/node/62
- James Larson
War Against the Papacy
Now in print, and available from Cruachan Hill Press
This book contains additional material to the work on my website bearing the same title. Following is an excerpt from the new Preface:
There is no more justification for the SSPX position during the pontificate of Pope Francis than there was during the reign of any previous Pope. Unquestionably, however, many who are “bent” towards an SSPX mentality, or even towards sedevacantism, find more excuses under the pontificate of Francis for such a move than under that of John Paul II.
I think it profitable, therefore, to speculate as to what would be the position of Archbishop Lefebvre himself towards such a pontificate as that of Francis. In an address to seminarians in 1986, Archbishop Lefebvre offered the following
“Now I don't know if the time has come to say that the Pope is a heretic; I don't know if it is the time to say that. You know, for some time many people, the sedevacantists, have been saying "there is no more Pope," but I think that for me it was not yet the time to say that, because it was not sure, it was not evident, it was very difficult to say that the Pope is a heretic, the Pope is apostate. But I recognize that slowly, very slowly, by the deeds and acts of the Pope himself we begin to be very anxious…. What conclusion must we draw in a few months if we are confronted by these repeated acts of partaking in false worship? I don't know. I wonder. But I think the Pope can do nothing worse than call together a meeting of all religions, when we know there is only one true religion and all other religions belong to the devil. So perhaps after this famous meeting of Assisi, perhaps we must say that the Pope is a heretic, is apostate. Now I don't wish yet to say it formally and solemnly, but it seems at first sight that it is impossible for a Pope to be publicly and formally heretical. Our Lord has promised to be with him, to keep his faith, to keep him in the Faith - how can he at the same time be a public heretic and virtually apostatize? So it is possible we may be obliged to believe this pope is not pope.”
If Archbishop Lefebvre could propose such a thing during the pontificate of John Paul II (and even before Assisi), then it would not seem unreasonable to speculate that the pontificate of Pope Francis might very well have carried him over into sedevacantism. No one, of course, can be sure as to what his course of action might have been. But the interesting point for consideration is that each person who is an adherent of the SSPX’s position is now not only in the position of subjectively judging the Papacy (through defying Papal jurisdiction), but also finds himself necessarily forced into subjectivity in regard to what would be the position of the one man since the Council whom they most seek to emulate and follow – a subjectivity which has enormous consequences in terms of their own personal faith and their belief in regard to wherein the Catholic Church itself subsists.
Available from Cruachan Hill Press
”He who eats the Pope dies”
– German proverb
“A Voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great
mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would
not be comforted, because they are not.”
All of the following is written in a spirit of charity. It is also written in a spirit of deep caution, and even trepidation. I sent many of my writings to Pope Benedict XVI ( in September, 2007), along with a personal letter. In the spirit of obedience, I publicly state that at his simple request, or that of his successor Pope Francis, I would cease writing and prevent the further spread of my writings as much as morally possible.
I believe that the Papacy is wounded and suffering and that this suffering has profoundly affected the philosophical-theological orientation of recent Popes. While leaving intact the prerogatives established by Christ for all times upon Peter and his successors, this philosophical and theological disorientation has affected virtually everything else, to the detriment of the Church and the salvation of souls
The reader will note that a number of my articles are deeply critical of the writings and statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. I wish to state that I can make no final or absolute judgment about the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI. However,a fair number of my articles critical of his statements and writings were written after his ascension to the Papacy. They give evidence as to the continuity of his present thought with that of his past writings, but pretend to make no absolute judgment. I must add that I have seen no evidence on the part of Joseph Ratzinger of any renunciation of his previous thought and that, on the contrary, he has asserted the essential continuity of his thought up to, and even after, his elevation. As with any author, he would fall under the strong moral imperative to correct any serious errors in his past writings of which he became conscious. I am aware of no efforts on his part to do so.
I must also now add that in April of 2005, two weeks before the election of Benedict XVI, I sent my manuscript of The War Against Being and The Return to God" to then Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina, along with a letter stating that I believed he might be elected Pope. I received no reply. There are now two articles (Part I, Articles 24, 26) which contain analysis of Pope Francis' thinking and actions.
I call the reader’s attention to the two quotes which I have placed at the beginning of this short introduction. The first encapsulates in a startling manner the sense of caution, and even fear, which any person in the Church should feel in undertaking criticism of a person who has become Pope. The presence of this fear is always necessary in order to generate and maintain that charity towards the Holy Father which is always integral to the Catholic Spirit, no matter what personal faults the personality and thought of a particular occupant of the Chair of Peter might present as an impediment to the natural expression of this charity.
The second quote simply represents the reality which is the present moment in the life of the Church. We are faced with a holocaust of the spiritual life and well-being of children which is directly attributable to the chaos in religious instruction, sacramental life, and morality which has been the inheritance of post-Vatican II life in the Church. And this chaos in all things Catholic is directly attributable to the philosophical-theological orientation of members of the Catholic hierarchy, especially to the Popes who have reigned during and since the Council.
In this situation the tension between one’s natural Catholic love and respect for the Pope and the knowledge of what recent Popes have perpetrated, or allowed to be perpetrated, upon innocent children becomes almost unbearable. Ultimately the question as to whether to criticize or not comes down to the question of being a man. In the Old Testament the Lord says that “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” he shall send Elias the prophet to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema.” (Malachias 4: 6). Surely, if we are men, and are to retain our manhood, then our hearts must turn to the defense of our children.
I think it is only at this point – once our hearts have truly turned to militancy in defense of our children – that our eyes become opened to perceive the extent to which the Papacy itself is really suffering, that this suffering must be a visitation upon us by God in chastisement for our sins and infidelities, and that charity for all – for Christ, for the Pope, for our children and our own souls – demands the full revelation of certain truths which are, indeed, very painful for us to face. If we remain silent the darkness can only deepen, and our cowardice and emasculation only become more pronounced.
Finally, I wish to state that I do not support in any way either the sedevacantist position, or that of the SSPX or any individual or group that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church. I have written a small book on this subject which is now available as Part X on this website. I wish also to state that many of my articles have appeared in Christian Order Magazine, the website of which is www.christianorder.com.
On the Use or Publication of these Articles:
I desire the widest possible dissemination of the articles on this website, but wish it to be done with integrity, and in accord with the following stipulations.
First, I emphatically state that I accept both Benedict XVI and his successor Francis I as legitimate Popes, and that I am not a sedevacantist and also do not support any group, especially the SSPX, that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church.
Second, I do not permit any critical analysis of any article using a technique to insert comments within the body of the article itself. I believe that any well-written article is a whole greater than the sum of its individual parts, that continuity in reading it is necessary in order to be able to understand the whole force of the argument or position, and that therefore such a technique does unjust violence to the integrity of the work. An honest critical analysis therefore demands a separate article or treatment. This, of course, does not preclude the use of individual quotations, as long as they are taken in context.
I also wish to recommend that Article 1 of Part 1 be read first, as it contains an analysis of philosophical and theological principles necessary for the understanding of the rest.
Authored by: James Larson
Continue to Article 1