WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE CURRENT CRISIS
Catholics for Pro-Choice! Call To Action seeking to legitimize priestesses! Unheard of compromises with the leaders of other religions in the name of ecumenism! The total disappearance of all remaining Catholic nations! Pathetic liturgies, complete with clowns, hand puppets, a live donkey, and priest-in-a-box! A huge decline in mass attendance, baptisms, marriages, and religious vocations! A huge increase in marriage annulments! Huge numbers of Catholics using birth control, or even abortion, and imagining that they commit no sin in doing so! Huge numbers of Catholics either converting to other religions or losing all interest in religion! An almost complete disappearance of Latin liturgy! Financially strapped parishes forced to spend enormous amounts of money on such renovations as destroying the altar and the altar rail, installing a funky wooden table, removing the statues of the saints, replacing the crucifix with abstract designs (or worse!), and removing the tabernacle to some place of dishonor! Deals made with Communists, Socialists, and Liberation Theology! Collectivism (Communism by another name) openly advocated in the Church! "Catholic" schools which pride themselves in having so many non-Catholic students who attend them owing to their suppression of "school prayer" or any Catholic teaching! "Catholic" schools incorporating "sex education" classes which encourage the little children to explore the various sensations which result from fondling different parts of their bodies! Laypeople being put in charge of teaching catechism with absolutely no training other than a one-day workshop in "Building a Community" and no idea what they are supposed to teach! Scandals of priests and bishops molesting little children! Homosexuality tolerated or even encouraged in the seminaries! Masons trading secret oaths with the Knights of Columbus so that each can vouch for the essential innocuousness of the other! Catholics no longer forbidden to become Masons! Priests who teach unity and community, but not Christ, forgiveness, and the Four Last Things!
All of those things are related to each other. All of them are symptoms of the same malady. "The abomination of desolation now stands in the holy place!" Hard to believe as it is, the above described institution actually still calls itself the Roman Catholic Church! From a human standpoint one would think that the gates of Hell have prevailed over the Church. Many true Catholics even think that we have come to the End of the World.
When Jesus, who was and is Everlasting Life, died on the cross, the disciples then must have felt very much the same way. The Devil had won. Jesus was dead, and soon buried as well. What was there left to do but scatter in utter humiliation and fear for their lives? The Shepherd had been struck and the sheep were scattered. As it was then, so it is now.
Just as the death of Christ in many ways prefigures the present crisis in the Church, so also did other events leading up to that crucifixion. The events I wish to discuss briefly here and in more depth in the next couple chapters are comparable to the Trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, the Way of Sorrows and Crucifixion, and the death and burial of Christ.
When Jesus Christ appeared before Pontius Pilate, He admitted that He was a King, and after a short explanation of the nature of His Kingdom, never spoke to Pilate again. Like the sacrificial lamb He went peacefully to the slaughter, never once defending Himself against those who spoke ill of Him.
Christ, who lives and moves in the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, was similarly silent at the Second Vatican Council where they put Him in the Dock and decided His fate. All previous councils from Nicea to Vatican I had been expressions of Christ to His Church and also the World. Vatican II on the other hand put Christ and His Church on trial before the Court of the World.
There was also at that time an insurrectionist, a robber and murderer named Barabbas who had been condemned to die for his crimes. Pilate gave the World a choice of either letting Christ go free or letting Barabbas go free. They chose Barabbas and so Barabbas was set free and Christ was crucified.
At the time of the calling of the Second Vatican Council there was present in the world a huge and growing political force which like Barabbas had murdered many in advancing its cause, had robbed many of their hard-earned wealth, and which promoted insurrections wherever it was not already established. That political force was called Communism. It was not only a political force but also a heresy. Had a council been convened to condemn the heresy of Communism, that would have been a very good and proper use for a Council.
When given a choice between judging Communism and judging the Church, Communism was allowed to go scot free while the Church and all of its functioning came under opposition scrutiny. John XXIII had ruled early on that Communism and its evils would never be discussed at the new Council they were convening. In all fairness to John XXIII, negotiations were underway with several communist nations for the release of certain Catholic clergymen whom they were holding prisoner, so John XXIII may have felt that condemning communism might in some way impede those negotiations. Be that as it may, he did what he did; Pilate no doubt had his reasons too.
Pilate had no intention of condemning Christ to be crucified. He even acquitted Him four different times. Likewise, most of those bishops, cardinals, and other prelates who came to the Second Vatican Council had no intention of injuring the Church, (even though most of the pet theories many of them wished to inflict on the Church were truly heretical). What they intended was one thing; what they ended up doing was quite another.
Pilate literally washed his hands of the matter, thus relinquishing his authority in the matter and allowing the angry mob to decide what was to be done. Vatican II likewise did not so much directly mandate the chaos described in this chapter's first paragraph as cause many (or all) members of the hierarchy to relinquish the authority they had previously exercised to prevent such madness from happening.
After that trial of course comes the Way of Sorrows and the Crucifixion. All of the postconciliar changes to the liturgy, to the way Vatican politics works, and to such basic documents of the Church such as the Code of Canon law, all together constitute the Way of Sorrows. Even as so many Jews then turned their backs to their long-promised Messiah, the Novus Ordo presider similarly "turns his back" to the tabernacle, to Christ Himself. The presence of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Sacrament of an irreverent, anti-Catholic, and yet still valid Mass was his Crucifixion and sufferings on the Cross. The frequent invalidity of the new sacraments (as shall be explained in later chapters) is His death and burial.
Just as the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) thus desacralizing it by granting free access between the more and less holy areas, the once Catholic Churches are similarly desacralized by the removal of altar rails, rood screens, or even the iconostasis (in the Eastern rite churches). Likewise, the stripping bare of the altar, the consigning of the Eucharist to a side chapel or other location totally outside the sanctuary, and the absence of Mass on Good Friday all correspond to the present expulsion of the Church with its true and valid Sacraments to, at best, some sort of side chapel, and at worst, some place totally outside the previous sanctuary, and the absence of valid sacraments in the New Rite. Just as Christ died after being condemned to die by Pontius Pilate, His Mystical Body, the Church, dies after being condemned to die by Vatican II.
Jesus taught, "A servant is not better than his master. If they persecuted Me they will also persecute you." (John 15:20) Indeed, they crucified Christ. "They" were the religious authorities of His day. Although numerous individual Christians have been persecuted, tortured, even crucified just like Christ, the amazing thing is that such a thing never happened to the Church as a whole, the Mystical Body of Christ, until this century.
An individual can usually tell when he is being persecuted. The Church is made up of numerous individuals who may or may not be persecuted at any given time, but it is often only their own individual persecution or that of a few close friends or relatives which they are aware of. The Church, being the Mystical Body of Christ, is actually Christ's Body, and it is therefore He that is being persecuted this time. He is the one who is directly aware of the persecution His Mystical Body is receiving which is distinct from the persecution which individual Christians experience, which He as God and knowing all is also aware of.
He, being aware of His persecution, is the One who is really taking action, not us. Since He lives and moves in us, His Mystical Body, there are ways in which many Catholics often (even unwittingly) have participated in what He is doing, even though it is He who is really doing it in those of us who cooperate with grace. He has no need for any of us to be doing what we have been doing in keeping alive the Faith and the Church, but He chooses to invite us to share in His work even as He invites us to share in His sufferings. As He said, "If these should keep silent, the stones would cry out." (Luke 19:40)
The trial of Christ before Pontius Pilate has many similarities to the Second Vatican Council. Just as no one has the right to judge God, or put God in the Dock so to speak, neither does anyone have the right to judge the Church God made. While it may be fair to point out a few scattered individuals here and there who have abused their authority, or had to be deprived of it, owing to some weakness or decadence or laziness on their part, no such criticism may ever fall upon the Church which is by definition a perfect society, created by God and sustained by His Will.
Pilate started out with no intention to kill Christ. He even exonerated him four times. However he did give the order to have Him scourged, and when he later gave permission to have Him crucified, the order to scourge Him still stood. Likewise, the bishops, prelates, and pope who gathered at the Vatican for a council in October of 1962 had no plan to destroy the Church or turn it into something else, but they did give the order to scourge the Church with an aggiornamento of "updates" to the Church to bring it in line with current worldly thought. As will be seen in the next chapter, that council also generated the permission given to the enemies of the Church to crucify it; when Vatican II opened the windows of the establishment ruled from Vatican City, not only did the some of the smoke of Satan leak in, but some of the Church leaked out.
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