Sunday, October 30, 2005

A reading from the Prophecy of Malachi, "FutureChurch" and the Man of Sin

Today's first reading is from the prophecy of Malachi"


"I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name is feared throughout the nations. And now, priests, this warning is for you. If you do not listen, if you do not find it in your heart to glorify my name, says the Lord of hosts, I will send the curse on you and curse your very blessing. You have strayed from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your teaching. You have destroyed the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts. And so I in my turn have made you contemptible and vile in the eyes of the whole people in repayment for the way you have not kept to my paths but have shown partiality in your administration. Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why, then, do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? (Mal 1:14 - 2:8-10).

Haven't we seen yet another fulfillment of this ancient prophecy? Many priests have strayed from the way and have caused many to stumble by their teaching. And more than 1 billion dollars has been spent to settle abuse cases within the Catholic Church in the United States alone: a figure which highlights, but does not do justice to, the countless lives shattered spiritually, emotionally and physically by priests who have strayed from the way and who have been delivered up to various lusts (see Romans 1). Our Lord spoke of such men:

"...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:5-6).

Advocates of FutureChurch, a church to be built in the image and likeness of man, a church which will prepare the way for the Man of Sin and which will be a true home for him, are now attempting to put a positive spin on these facts as related by Patrick Buchanan:


An index of Catholicism's decline
A review by Pat Buchanan
As the Watergate scandal of 1973-1974 diverted attention from the far greater tragedy unfolding in Southeast Asia, so, too, the scandal of predator-priests now afflicting the Catholic Church may be covering up a far greater calamity.

Thirty-seven years after the end of the only church council of the 20th century, the jury has come in with its verdict: Vatican II appears to have been an unrelieved disaster for Roman Catholicism. Liars may figure, but figures do not lie. Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis has pulled together a slim volume of statistics he has titled Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II. His findings make prophets of Catholic traditionalists who warned that Vatican II would prove a blunder of historic dimensions, and those same findings expose as foolish and naive those who believed a council could reconcile Catholicism and modernity. When Pope John XXIII threw open the windows of the church, all the poisonous vapors of modernity entered, along with the Devil himself. Here are Jones's grim statistics of Catholicism's decline:

Priests. While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000, between 1930 and 1965, since then that number has fallen to 45,000. By 2020, there will be only 31,000 priests left, and more than half of these priests will be over 70.

Ordinations. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. In 2002, the number was 450. In 1965, only 1 percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priestless parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes.

Seminarians. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed.

Sisters. In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns. By 2002, that had fallen to 75,000 and the average age of a Catholic nun is today 68. In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns. Today, there are 8,200, a decline of 94 percent since the end of Vatican II.

Religious Orders. For religious orders in America, the end is in sight. In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests. In 2000, the figure was 389. With the Christian Brothers, the situation is even more dire. Their number has shrunk by two-thirds, with the number of seminarians falling 99 percent. In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers. In 2000, there were only seven.

The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.

Catholic schools. Almost half of all Catholic high schools in the United States have closed since 1965. The student population has fallen from 700,000 to 386,000. Parochial schools suffered an even greater decline. Some 4,000 have disappeared, and the number of pupils attending has fallen below 2 million -- from 4.5 million.

Though the number of U.S. Catholics has risen by 20 million since 1965, Jones' statistics show that the power of Catholic belief and devotion to the Faith are not nearly what they were.

Catholic Marriage. Catholic marriages have fallen in number by one-third since 1965, while the annual number of annulments has soared from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 in 2002.

Attendance at Mass. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that three in four Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that only one in four now attend.

Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers now accept church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to mass on Sundays. By one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus.

At the opening of Vatican II, reformers were all the rage. They were going to lead us out of our Catholic ghettos by altering the liturgy, rewriting the Bible and missals, abandoning the old traditions, making us more ecumenical, and engaging the world. And their legacy?

Four decades of devastation wrought upon the church, and the final disgrace of a hierarchy that lacked the moral courage of the Boy Scouts to keep the perverts out of the seminaries, and throw them out of the rectories and schools of Holy Mother Church.

Through the papacy of Pius XII, the church resisted the clamor to accommodate itself to the world and remained a moral beacon to mankind. Since Vatican II, the church has sought to meet the world halfway.

Jones' statistics tell us the price of appeasement.

This article is taken from http://www.townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/pb20021211.shtml


One of these "FutureChurch" advocates, Fr. Dennis A. Broussard, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Litchfield, was quoted in the Manchester Union Leader as having said that: "In terms of Catholic spirituality, we are going from adolescence to adulthood collectively. In our tradition, in many ways...we were children." (October 30, 2005 edition, article entitled "Catholic Church 'at a crossroads' - Future Church, reshaping the Diocese of Manchester).

Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, who was described by Pope Pius XII as "..the 20th- century Doctor of the Church," would disagree with Fr. Broussard. In his book entitled, "Trojan Horse in the City of God," Dr. Von Hildebrand wrote that, "Incessantly we hear today the self-satisfied slogan, 'Man has finally come of age.' Yet there are so many features of the present epoch - the dethronement of truth by historical relativism, the fetishization of science, the devastation of our lives as a result of the laboratory view, and many others - that make it more than doubtful that modern man has really and truly come of age. There is, moreover, something inherently self-deceptive in the very idea.

It is a characteristic symptom of immaturity to feel oneself more mature and independent than men of previous times, to forget what one owes the past, and, in a kind of adolescent self-assertion, to refuse any assistance. One need only recall Dostoyevsky's masterly description of the puberty crisis - Kolya Krassotkin in The Brothers Karamazov, Hypolit in The Idiot, the hero of The Adolescent - to grasp the special immaturity of the man who is convinced of his superior maturity, who thinks that in him humanity has in a unique way come of age, who is dominated by one preoccupation - to show his independence. His ludicrous smallness is manifest as he looks down on everything passed on through tradition, even the most timeless values.

The illusion of an historic coming of age is not the exclusive possession of our epoch. In the period of the so-called Enlightenment, man also felt themselves to have come of age and looked down on former times as periods of darkness and immaturity. This illusion is a recurring phenomenon in social history and it bears a striking resemblance to the puberty crisis in the life of the individual person. But the contemporary assertion that whereas this perennial boast was never before justified, it is now really true makes its self-serving character all the more clear.

One of the many indications of the intellectual and moral immaturity of the present age is the fact that the percentage of worthless books and articles that captivate the minds of intellectuals seems greater today than in any other time in history." (pp.143-144).

It is always nothing short of amazing when a Catholic priest of today can ignore the facts presented by the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators (not to mention the abuse crisis within the Church) and even assert that, "we are going from adolescence to adulthood collectively." The words of Soren Kierkegaard seem prophetic on this score: "Having refused to use their freedom of thought, men claim freedom of speech as compensation."

Again, Dr. Von Hildebrand reminds us that: "This temporal parochialism - this feeling above others who are not living in the same historical epoch - performs the same psychological function that pride in Aryan descent performed for many Germans during the National Socialist epoch. The most insignificant German, suddenly exalted by the mere fact that he was of pure Aryan descent, could now look down on the most gifted intellectual who happened to have a Jewish grandmother. There is a general tendency in human nature to seek such compensations for inferiority or to look for ways of 'putting oneself up' in pride...This epochalism existed in former times just as did nationalism, yet the revolt against tradition is especially strong today.."

And why is this revolt against tradition stronger than ever today? Dr. Von Hildebrand doesn't say. But I would like to present my theory. It hinges around prophecies given to us by an Augustinian nun and stigmatist named Anna-Katarina Emmerick - whom the Church venerates as Blessed.

In the 1820's, Sister Emmerick had visions of the Church in the future. On September 12, 1820, Sister Emmerick said:

"I saw a strange church being built against every rule....No angels were supervising the building operations. In that church nothing came from high above....There was only division and chaos. It's probably a church of human creation, following the latest fashion, as well as the new heterodox church of Rome, which seems of the same kind....I saw again the strange big church that was being built there [in Rome]. There was nothing holy in it....Everything was being done according to human reason. I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines, and opinions. There was something proud, presumptuous, and violent about it, and they seemed to be very successful. I did not see a single angel nor a single saint helping in the work. But far away in the background, I saw the seat of a cruel people armed with spears, and I saw a laughing figure which said: 'Do build it as solid as you can; we will pull it to the ground.'"

Is this "future church" a preparation for the Man of Sin, the Antichrist? From August to October of 1820, Sister Emmerick says: "I see more martyrs, not now but in the future....I saw the secret sect relentlessly undermining the great Church. Near them I saw a horrible beast coming up from the sea....When the Church had been for the most past destroyed [by the secret sect], and when only the sanctuary and altar were still standing, I saw the wreckers enter the Church with the Beast. There they met a Woman of noble carriage who seemed to be with child because she walked slowly. At this sight, the enemies were terrorized, and the Beast could not take but another step forward. It projected its neck towards the Woman as if to devour her, but the Woman turned about and bowed down [towards the altar], her head touching the ground. Thereupon, I saw the Beast taking flight towards the sea again, and the enemies were fleeing in the greatest confusion....Then I saw that the Church was being promptly rebuilt, and she was more magnificent than ever before."

The armies are poised for battle. On the one side, Satan and his cohort (which includes many priests and religious as well as lay people) who are building a church in their own image and likeness, a "FutureChurch" where sin is not confessed but celebrated and where lying and homicide serve as ersatz "sacraments." On the other, the Immaculata and her little children who are humble and despised by the world.

Satan and his followers have their tactics which revolve around the false idols of money, power, lust, and greed all clothed in the mantle of pride. The Immaculata and her cohort have their own tactics: prayer, fasting, penance, reconciliation, humility and a smallness which is clothed in the mantle of love.

As the Index makes clear, we have had four decades of "FutureChurch" and we are now seeing the fruits: Catholics who no longer attend Holy Mass and who don't confess their sins (largely due to what Pope John Paul II referred to as a "loss of the sense of sin," a shortage of clergy in the West, emptied seminaries, emptied convents, and Catholics who abort and contracept and think nothing of it.

This isn't a "coming of age," a movement from "adolescence to adulthood" as Fr. Broussard has called it. It represents apostasy and a preparation for the coming of the Man of Sin:

"Daniel prophesies of the Last Judgment in such a way as to indicate that Antichrist shall first come, and to carry on his description to the eternal reign of the saints....But he who reads this passage, even half asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church before the last judgment of God shall introduce the eternal reign of saints. For it is patent from the context that the time, times, and half a time, means a year, and two years, and half a year, that is to say, three years and a half." (St. Augustine).

Until next time,
God love you
Paul Anthony Melanson

1 comment:

Tony Roze said...

Catholics who contracept? Dear, goodness!

Please show me where in the Bible it states that contraception is a sin.

Site Meter