+ St. Martha +
I apologize for the long delay in posting this; sometimes life just gets in the way! But I do want to continue along this theme of the Church’s existence in the end times so that no stone is left unturned in understanding and appreciating the role we must play spiritually in this time period. Many years ago, I saved some material that will help in this task and have now found additional helps from the same source. I will try to present these over the next few months, as time permits.
As explained in a comment to my last blog, during an interregnum where the hierarchy including the cardinals are truly Catholic, the ability to perpetuate the papacy continues indefinitely. When the cardinals and bishops all become corrupt and cannot provide truly Catholic candidates for the papacy, then that potentiality ceases and the election is invalidly posited. Never in the history of the Church was there ever a time when papal electors everyone believed to be Catholic elected a man who was not a Catholic himself in order to usher in a “new order” in the Church. As St. Robert Bellarmine and the Church has always taught, a man must be Catholic to be elected pope and Catholics alone can elect him. There are numerous proofs that John 23 — Angelo Roncalli — was not Catholic, was not worthy of election and violated Pope Pius XII’s papal lection law prior to the conclave that “elected” him. The Great Revolt spoken of by St. Paul did not begin with the people – it began with the hierarchy. The people simply followed them into error just as they did at the time of the Protestant re-formation, and this includes Traditionalists. As the shepherd, so the flock.
In ages past, the election of a man suspected of heresy or apostasy could not have come about without outrage and opposition on the part of those who loved the Church. Such occurrences always resulted in a disputed election and rival “popes,” until the matter was sorted out. How do we know these men were not Catholic and could not have validly elected a pope? We know because later they went on to participate in Vatican 2 and promote the Novus Ordo Missae. We cannot even call those pretending to be popes since the death of Pope Pius XII antipopes, because no one has risen up against them claiming to be a true pope canonically elected, and this is a totally unprecedented occurrence. Instead we must call them usurpers who have taken the papal throne by force and remain unchallenged, and this can only correspond to one event mentioned in Holy Scripture: the Great Apostasy or Revolt.
For only once in the Church’s history can it happen that She is given over to the power of Satan and her leaders fall out of their places in the Church, (stars falling from heaven in St. John’s Apocalypse — Rev. E. S. Berry), and that is during the time of Antichrist. As explained before, he who withholdeth must first be taken out of the way, as described by St. Paul in 2 Thess. 2: 6-7 and St. John in Apoc. 12: 5. Henry Cardinal Manning has identified this personage as Christ’s own Vicar, for the Church must undergo the same Passion endured by Our Lord. Then the Great Revolt, fomenting since the Protestant Revolt and coming to a head in the early part of the last century, culminates in the election of the Man of Sin, as taught by Pope Paul IV in his papal bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. Only during an interregnum is a pope not reigning, and this means his seat is open for grabs by those who wish to establish a Church made with human hands on the ruins of the true Church of Christ. Antichrist saw his golden opportunity and wasted no time seizing it. But he had planned all this out well ahead of time and waited in the wings until his prophet prepared the way.
We were not left a default process for papal elections because it was always assumed there would be true Catholic hierarchy to elect. However, God who gave us the Church is equally capable of withdrawing it from us for sins committed. And who could ever deny that the sins committed by Catholics for the past several centuries have not pierced the vaults of heaven and so aggrieved God that He has meted out this punishment? Yes, He promised to be with us unto the consummation, and so He is with the faithful. And yes again, His Church lives on in His Mystical Body and its members, for He was always its true Head, although many forget this and have no appreciation or realization that valid priests and bishops were only a conduit through whom God’s graces flowed. True Catholic hierarchy take Christ’s place only in the sense that they are allowed to act as dispensers for Christ in His stead, but only when they have received certainly valid and licit orders. And that is just the bare minimum of what is required of them, holiness of life being above all the most important. We have been over all of this before.
It is not as though we have any lack of proof that the men responsible for electing these usurpers abandoned their faith and embraced a non-Catholic sect: it is all too apparent. Nor is there any evidence lacking that papal election law was flagrantly violated and the Church immediately plunged into “aggiornamento” or renewal as a result. In reading Catholic works regarding the Americanists and the Modernists, one will find it was all planned long ago. We lost the Mass and Sacraments for the very same reason the Israelites lost their sacrifice, as Daniel prophesied: because of sin. The Popes begged us to engage in Catholic Action and defend the papacy and we ignored their pleas. We cannot regain what we lost unless and until God wills it and He may very well not so will it. The Church had to have a pope only for as long as She lasted and there are reasons to believe She has finished her mission, at least for now. What God has planned for Her next is beyond the veil, and we cannot see it because it is a mystery known only to God.
Those who believe the Church will never fail forget that Divine Revelation itself tells us there is such a time when She will at least appear to fail temporarily, for indeed, “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?” (Matt. 26: 54). We know that he who withholdeth has been taken away, and that following this event the Great Revolt began with the election of John 23. Afterwards, the Man of Sin was revealed, Paul 6, and he completed the process, begun by Roncalli, of abolishing the Mass and Sacraments. Nearly all the faithful have gone into captivity to other religions, and this may well last 70 years or more, as it did with the Jews. We are in our 62nd year. But because to whom much is given much is expected, why should we Catholics, gifted with a Redeemer and purchased with His blood, expect that we would not be punished even more severely than the Jews, whose gifts of grace were not even close to ours?
Those struggling to understand how the Church will last unto the consummation must separate in their minds the Church as She once existed juridically and the Church as she now exists. She is the same Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, as She has always been from the beginning, She is that Church headed by Christ Himself. He may have seen fit to remove the visible and physical elements of Her existence, in punishment for our sins, but Pope Pius XII taught the Church will ever exist incorporated in His Mystical Body. We read from the encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi:
“For Peter in view of his primacy is only Christ’s Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisibly, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into Heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same. They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth.”
And while that vicar is not visible to us today, we can yet adhere to all he and his predecessors taught in their lifetimes, knowing that God preserves their infallible decrees in Heaven, since He binds all that His Vicars teach. Therefore they reign together still, even though the pope is no longer visible to us on earth at this particular time, a time Christ warned us in Matt. 24 that would be like no other. We find this confirmed in Apoc. 12: 5. Why then are we surprised to find His words are true?
Those insisting they must have Mass and Sacraments are no different than the Israelites of old who were obsessed with the exterior aspect of their religion — the Temple itself, their festivals and devotions, their animal sacrifices, but not their spiritual responsibilities and the observance of God’s laws. Because of this obsession God first removed their temple from Shiloh and then removed it once again from Jerusalem following the death of Our Lord. They forget, sadly, that in Heaven there is no temple or Church per se, and that Jesus Himself is both the Altar and the Sacrifice. Nor will we receive Holy Communion or the other Sacraments in Heaven, for then we will see God face to face and will possess Him entirely. These teachings, however, are not intelligible to those who can accept and understand only exterior and material signs and an earthly existence. They see Heaven merely as a continuation of their lives on this planet, entirely excluding the supernatural transformation that will take place once we leave this earth and are finally admitted to the halls of Heaven.
As Fr. Demaris explains his excellent tract, They Have Taken Away My Lord, written for those without priests or Sacraments during the French Revolution:
“As children of God, according to the witness of Sts. Peter and John, we participated in the priesthood of Jesus Christ to offer prayers and promises. If we are not entitled to sacrifice on visible altars, we are not without offering, since we can offer it in worship by our love in sacrificing Christ ourselves to His Father on the invisible altar of our hearts. Faithful to this principle, we shall gather all the graces that we would have been able to gather had we been able to assist at the Holy sacrifice of the Mass. Charity unites us to all the Faithful of the universe who offer this divine sacrifice, or who assist at it. If we lack a material altar and sensible species, there are no longer any in Heaven where Jesus Christ is offered in the most perfect manner.
“Yes, my children, the faithful who are without priests, offer their sacrifice without temple, without minister and without anything sensible. It needs only Jesus Christ to offer it. “For the sacrifice of the heart, where the victim must be consumed by the fire of love for the Holy Ghost, it requires to be united to Jesus Christ,” said St. Clement of Alexandria, “by words, by deeds and by heart.”
Where was the Catholic army, the Church Militant, that should have risen up and overthrown Roncalli, dismantled Vatican 2 and liberated the Church? The army that, to better glorify God as He is intended to be glorified, was willing to Sacrifice all for Him rather than dishonor Him? Because Catholics did not fight for the Church according to Her own laws and teachings, God has turned away His face from us. Worshipping Him at the heavenly altar is all we have left until He comes again, and surely given what is happening in this world that cannot be far away. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell…