Desperate times call for desperate measures and times are desperate for the Catholic Church.
Wracked by interior scandal after scandal – most recently the revelations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s evil deeds and the years of turning a blind eye by superiors – the Roman Catholic Church is weaker than it has perhaps ever been. Catholics are leaving in droves for new-age community-center-type churches proclaiming the “Prosperity Gospel.”
Compounding the Church’s crisis is the wave of secularism sweeping across the globe. This growth is fueled by the wide-spread elections of world leaders who, though most claim allegiance to a particular faith, are in truth atheists with a deep disdain for religion, particularly Christianity. The end-goal of these heads-of-state is to eradicate true Christianity from Europe, first, and later the United States.
Because of the truths she holds, destruction of the Catholic Church is the primary goal for these evil men and women. Protestantism is secondary, as there is no infallible foundation holding it together. The Catholic Church has been the flag-bearer for fighting poverty, standing up against injustice and sharing the true message of Jesus Christ, which is the only hope for the future of mankind.
It is impossible to reconcile the pursuit of financial or political power with the message of Christ.
The enemies of the Church are attacking on several levels, from multiple angles. Every move has been calculated with sinister precision. Far too many Catholics – clergy even – are oblivious to this impending war.
On one front, the Church is being attacked on teachings that extend back to the early church fathers and the Apostles. From a non-negotiable opposition to abortion to the biblical mandate to deny reception of Holy Communion by non-Catholics and Catholics in the State of Mortal Sin, the Church is demonized as bigoted and archaic. These attacks are largely successful in poisoning the minds of young people against Christ’s church by the way they frame the debate. However, the real reason for their success is the Church’s complete impotence in responding to them.
From another angle – one that is incredibly nefarious – Europe, the cradle of Western Christianity has, for some time, now, accepted massive numbers of refugees fleeing the ravages of war in the Middle East. One of the reasons this is a particularly sinister plot is because it is cloaked in the appearance of compassion. Compassion for these victims of war, however, plays no part in the plan.
As atheism grows among young European natives – educated by ideologues at University – the influx of non-Christians is buoyed by the aggressive refugee acceptance policies of countries like Germany and France. Angela Merkel nearly lost her power over the German citizens’ disapproval of her “open-border” policy, which she had to reverse in order to save her coalition government. All of this is creating an exponential dilution of the traditional Christian influence in Europe.
Why is this not about compassion? Simple. These heads-of-state know that, statistically, there will likely never be a Muslim majority in Europe, so they believe the migrants, once settled in, will be a large minority that is easy to control. A large minority with cultural characteristics that are in stark opposition to modern Europe.
It has nothing to do with helping those in need – there are an unbelievable number of people who need help in the world (many of whom are already the beneficiaries of charity work done by the Catholic Church, alone). This is simply a very smooth way to maintain a power base for the new elite, and push the Catholic Church further and further into irrelevance.
Unfortunately, much like the leaders in the Church buried their head in the sand during the Irish abortion referendum, they have been equally docile on every other attack on her influence. There are 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world. Many of them are Catholic in name only, but a strong majority is devout and faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Catholics can be a force for positive influence in the world, but they need leadership.
Pope Francis just revised the Church’s teaching regarding the death penalty, making it Church law that it is “inadmissible” and is “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person…” This is a principle I do not disagree with. In truth, the pope didn’t change very much, as the Catechism had already made it clear that it was extremely rare, if ever, that the death penalty could be warranted.
The Holy Father has called on Catholics worldwide to oppose the death penalty, but how are they supposed to fight against state control of life and death when the Church has no teeth. When Catholics see wishy-washy responses to direct questions of doctrine and even dogma, how can they possibly be expected to stand up to the world? If Church leaders won’t take social and personal risks to defend our Church’s teachings, why should the average layperson?
Compounding the problem for everyday Catholics is the poisonous influence of priests and bishops who espouse teachings that are not Catholic. There are priests who were trained in particular seminaries to find real-world explanations for miraculous stories in the Bible. This was done in a misguided attempt to keep the faith believable to an increasingly savvy public.
The teachings are clearly modernistic and very un-Catholic. For example, they explain the loaves and fishes miracle as Jesus convincing the multitudes to simply share the food they already had. They also go so far as to assert that the Resurrection of Christ – the fundamental pillar of Christianity – was metaphorical; that Jesus rose from the dead in the hearts and minds of His followers only. This is heresy and a terminal cancer in the Church that must be eradicated.
And, of course, one cannot honestly discuss the problems within the Catholic Church without addressing the worst crime ever perpetrated in her name: the child abuse and its subsequent cover up.
This is an area where the Church leaders failed on so many levels it is almost unfathomable. The problem began when large numbers of men began applying to enter seminaries in the 40’s and 50’s. The Church leadership believed this was Divine Providence and reveled in visions of ambitious missionary programs and an abundance of parish priests. What they failed to do, in their jubilance, was to ask why all these formerly non-Catholic men were being called to the priesthood. The men were investigated neither psychologically nor spiritually.
Tragically, these men were anything but young shepherds answering God’s call to vocation. They were hiding dark demons within their souls and realized they could hide from public scrutiny in the sacristy. Nobody would ever second-guess an unmarried Catholic priest. For men who held no attraction for women, it was a perfect situation. Add in unlimited access to children and the protection of the priestly collar, you have a ticking time-bomb.
Although unimaginably horrible, the abuse itself cannot be fully blamed on church leadership – but their subsequent response to it can. The lack of vetting of these men with issues was certainly sloppy, but can be overlooked as an error. However, the almost unbelievable accounts of how bishops responded to confirmations of abuse by moving the offending priests to different parishes is forgivable only by God.
The Church will never erase the stain of what happened to those innocent children under her care – that will go down as a clear victory for Satan – but a reckoning is needed.
These issues are coming together in a perfect storm against the Church. Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His church, but He did not say how badly she would be wounded in the war. And the bottom line goes back to the Church’s mission of “proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom.” The enemies of Christ are relentless in their efforts to thwart that mission.
These are troubled times and the Church needs a strong and dramatic response. The laity must be involved, but it is the religious leadership that must lead. The Church needs leadership who will to do what Pope St. Pius V did in response to the attempted death-blow inflicted upon the Church by the Protestant Reformation. A purging is required and it must be brutal.
The Church leadership must affirm her most fundamental teachings, including those that are not politically correct, and any Catholic – layman or clergy – who publicly professes otherwise must be excommunicated as a heretic. An organization can withstand a thousand blows from outside but is far less durable when it comes to attacks from within. In the words of Our Blessed Lord, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (Mark 3:25)
The Church must evangelize and profess with vigor that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ, who is “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) This is not about attaining power or control – it is about the eternal salvation of souls. If the Church fails to open the door to Christ to anyone on earth, then the Church has failed in her mission. The decline in her worldly influence is a direct catalyst for that tragedy.
The Church must lead Catholics in a uniform manner relating to doctrine and dogma and the laity must, in turn, follow the guidance of the Church. Living, working and voting must be led by full adherence to the teachings and principles taught by Christ. Catholics must once again become a political force, not for power’s sake, but for the good of the Church and her mission to lead all mankind to salvation. Political leaders who are aggressively anti-Catholic must feel the heat when they attack our faith.
Finally – and perhaps most importantly – a ruthless campaign must be undertaken to root out every single person within the Church who played any part in either directly abusing children, or failing to act upon discovering it. Nobody in the Church should be exempt, regardless of rank. These crimes have done irreversible damage by violating both the sanctity and dignity of the individual victims in addition to the sacred bond of trust given to clergy by the faithful, and must be punished accordingly without mercy.
All who played a role in the continued abuse of children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church must be defrocked (if clergy), excommunicated and turned over to civil authorities for civil punishment. Church leaders must also turn over all available evidence of the crimes. Only then, can the Church ever ask for the full trust of Our Lord’s lambs again.
If it sounds like I am suggesting another Inquisition – perhaps I am.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Church was warned quite clearly to never “conform to the ways of the world, but to discern the call of God.” (Romans 12:2) The leaders of the Church cannot change doctrine based on public opinion. The Church was founded by Jesus to always lead, not to cower on the sidelines on the tough issues.
The teachings of the Catholic Church are timeless and perfect. Our Lord set up the perfect pathway for us to attain salvation and spend eternity with Him. The Devil has lost this gift and will stop at nothing to keep as many of us as possible from attaining it too; and he is very good at what he does. Catholics must rise up and defend our Church against these attacks . Every single one of them is orchestrated by Satan but carried out by man. We can do it – we must do it. And we are not alone, for Our Lord will be with us always. (Matthew 28:20)