It was Pope Paul VI who said, back in 1977, "There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. It so happens now that I repeat to myself the obscure phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Luke: 'When the Son of Man returns, will He still find faith on the earth?' It so happens that there are books coming out in which the faith is in retreat on some important points, that the episcopates are remaining silent and these books are not looked upon as strange. This, to me, is strange. I sometimes read the Gospel passage of the end times and I attest that, at this time, some signs of this end are emerging.."
And this was 38 years ago when, compared with today, things were much better. Pope Paul VI also said, "What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to predominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be." (The Secret Paul VI, by Jean Guitton).
Every day the non-Catholic way of thinking Pope Paul VI spoke of grows stronger. Minds are succumbing to the darkness. Our Lady told Father Stefano Gobbi on November 15, 1990, "I have not been listened to. You have continued to walk along the way of rejection of God and of his Law of love. Sins of impurity have become ever more widespread, and immorality has spread like a sea which has submerged all things. Homosexuality, a sin of impurity which is against nature, has been justified; recourse to the means of preventing life have become commonplace, while abortions - these killings of innocent children, that cry for vengeance before the face of God - have spread and are performed in every part of your homeland...there will remain only a small faithful remnant, over which I will keep watch in the garden of my Immaculate Heart..The chastisement, predicted by me at Fatima and contained in that part of the secret which has not yet been revealed, is about to take place. The great moment of divine justice and of mercy has come upon the world."
It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be. Why? Because Jesus told Peter, "...thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
But we have a Pope who doesn't seem to trust in Divine Providence and who seems fearful of speaking the truth in season and out of season. In fact, he has asserted that unless the Church which is bogged down by "small-minded rules" finds a "new balance," it is "likely to fall like a house of cards." See here.
And now, under the Pope who asserted that the church has grown “obsessed” with abortion, "gay marriage" and contraception, numerous Catholics are abandoning the Church at the same time that the U.S. Supreme Court "legalizes" sodomite unions.
At this critical moment in history, faithful Catholics need a strong shepherd who fears God more than men and is able to feed the sheep with the wheat of pure doctrine rather than the chaff of worldly pablum.
We need a shepherd who trusts in Jesus and His power and promises. Not a cowardly cleric who trembles before the world and its illusory "power."
For the earth and everything on it will be consumed by fire. And only faith, hope and love will endure.