+St. Peter Nolasco+
I once believed that the quote from Apocalypse used for the title of this blog post referred to the Novus Ordo church. But after delving a bit more into Holy Scripture, I have changed my mind about that initial assessment.
A little background here: In my opinion, the scarlet whore of Babylon depicted by St. John in Apocalypse Ch. 17-18 is Rome in the possession of the usurpers, and certain commentators also have opined that this could be a false church in Rome. But Rome’s occupation by those detestable imposters did not happen all at once with the election of John 23. It began in increments long ago as Pope Leo XIII warned in his long St. Michael’s prayer. Apocalypse Chapter 17–18 refers to the fall of Babylon, and that fall could have more than one meaning. But its primary meaning has always been taught by scriptural commentators as the physical destruction of Rome and Henry Cardinal Manning, in his work The Present Crisis of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy, (1861), agrees with this interpretation. He cites a host of authorities who support this from a strictly theological standpoint (see Lecture IV). Therefore, it is a well-established fact: at some point Rome will be physically destroyed and nothing of her riches and greatness will remain. So when will this be and what will it mean for the Church?
We have already seen Rome’s spiritual destruction and that is by far the most significant fulfillment of this prophecy, since commentators say the Apocalypse is to be taken first in a spiritual sense. All that now remains is the structural shell that once encased the guardians of the divine Deposit of Faith. For those who believe the Church will last until the consummation exactly as she was constituted by Christ, what does this tell them? Some will respond that the Roman See will simply be transferred to another place; others infer that this destruction will only happen shortly before the final consummation. We know Christ’s promise to be with His Church will never fail, for He will always be the invisible Head of His Mystical Body and we will ever be its members. But those defending the Church were so intent on denouncing Protestantism that they entirely ruled out any possibility that even towards the end of the world, Christ’s promise could be suspended, at least for a time, although it could never fail. While admitting the possibility of an extended interregnum, they never drew out the consequences of such an occurrence. And no one ever envisioned the election of a heretic by cardinals who no longer were Catholics themselves, something only Pope Paul IV anticipated in his Cum ex Apostolatus Officio. There he described the result of such an election as the reign of the Abomination of Desolation in the Holy Place.
What Christ promised
We have various translations of the Vatican Council documents regarding what our Lord taught about the Church lasting unto the consummation. Some Catechisms say that Christ willed His Church to endure unto the consummation; this is stated in one translation of the Vatican Council documents. And those insisting that there can be no interruptions in the order He established, of any kind, are adamant that what Christ wills must always transpire because otherwise He would not be true to His promises. (Of course Christ willed that all men be saved, but unfortunately that is dependent on free will, just as papal elections are dependent on free will.) Denzinger’s Sources of Catholic Dogma (DZ 1821), also other catechisms and official works on Church teaching, say that Christ wished, desired, meant or intended His Church to endure to the end of time, and they are not just a few. We can believe irrevocably that Christ intended His Church to exist to the end of time, as He constituted it, without understanding exactly HOW he intended it to exist, or keeps it in existence. This is far from saying that such a thing is an absolute, for if this was the case, then why didn’t the Council teach the following: “[Christ promised] the pastors and doctors to be even to the consummation’”?
Another Vatican Council teaching often cited is the one regarding the Church’s perpetuity. The Vatican Council in 1870 taught that “…Blessed Peter has (not “will have”) perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church — Si quis ergo dixerit, non esse ex ipsius Christi Domini institutione seu iure divino, ut beatus Petrus in primatu super universain Ecclesiam habeat perpetuos successores ; aut Romanum Pontificem non esse beati Petri hi eodem primatu successorem ; anathema sit.” (DZ 1825). Habeat = he has (present tense — subjunctive because it follows dixerit according to sequence of tenses). Future tense (he will have) = habebit. He must have = debeat habere. (This was first pointed out by Hutton Gibson in his The War is Now.) Gibson observed: “The Church can oblige us only to Scriptural prophecy (such as St. Paul’s revolt).”
And Henry Cardinal Manning’s translation of the Vatican Council documents found in the appendix to his work The Vatican Council Definitions is even less clear: “If then, any should deny that it is by the institution of Christ the Lord, or by divine right, that Blessed Peter should have a perpetual line of successors in the Primacy over the Universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter in this primacy; let him be anathema.” Should, as found in Webster’s 7th Collegiate Dictionary, is defined as “owed or obliged to; used in auxiliary function to express a condition, “if he shall” (1), or what is probable or expected (4). Again, why is this not clearly expressed as “will have”? In studying how the Vatican Council arrived at the wording of the canons put forth for belief and often heatedly disputed what words would be used and how they would be used, it is clearly seen that these words were not random selections. And here I trust Manning’s translation even over Denzinger, (which has been shown to contain errors) especially since he believed the papacy would be removed for a time during the days of Antichrist.
Given the above, our intent here is to better explain the disappearance of the juridical Church pointing to Rome’s eventual destruction. That even the traces of the adulterous Novus Ordo church are an abomination to God that must be obliterated should be an indication of how egregious their offenses are in the eyes of God. But that destruction will only be a confirmation of all that has gone before. Why would God destroy the physical remnants of a visible governing Church if it was capable of being recovered or restored, at least in the manner we now understand it to exist? Doesn’t this remind one of the destruction of the Jewish Temple 70 years after His death? Obviously He, as a prelude to His Second Coming, has something else in mind. Already the Church will be relocated or under protection somewhere when this destruction occurs. We know and believe Christ’s Church will last forever, as He constituted it. What we don’t know is precisely how He intends to fulfill His promise, and this is deliberately kept from us in these times.
Rome destroyed for denying the Incarnation
Chapter 18, vs. 6 of Apocalypse describes the scarlet whore, apostate Rome, as “drunk with the blood of the Saints and martyrs of Jesus.” The ten kings directed by the beast to fight against the elect and faithful are, commentators note, instruments God’s justice used to chastise Babylon. The angels announcing Babylon’s destruction implore those not wishing to partake of her sins to “…go out from her,” (Ch. 18: 4). Wrath at her fornication, (which in Holy Scripture indicates idolatry); sins reaching to heaven demanding retribution; the abomination and filthiness of her fornication or idolatry; her betrayal of the saints and martyrs — all merit God’s outrage and justify her destruction. This seems to occur shortly before the death of Antichrist, at least according to some commentators, although such destruction could occur at any time.
I truly don’t believe that anyone can fathom the absolute betrayal of Christ and His Father, in sending His Son to earth to die for our sins, that this destruction of Rome represents. This is unmistakably the denial of the Incarnation spoken of by Cardinal Manning as quoted in our previous blog on Traditionalists as the aiders and abettors of Antichrist. There we explained how Cardinal Manning identifies this denial of the Incarnation as follows: “The world is resolved to drive the Incarnation off the earth… The dethronement of the Vicar of Christ is the dethronement of the hierarchy of the universal Church — the shrine and sanctuary of the Incarnation and the Continual Sacrifice — and the public rejection of the Reign and Presence of Jesus” (The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, pgs. 161-162; 167). Has anyone really fully internalized the fact that when we lost the papacy, we also lost the hierarchy, and with it the Holy Sacrifice — all the things Christ left to us to continue His mission on earth? Yet it isn’t just Traditionalists who are guilty of rejecting the papacy; in a sense all of us were (and some still are) guilty of this at some time, on some level.
Failing to realize and admit the sheer enormity and debt of sin and guilt involved in this denial has clouded our understanding regarding its inevitable consequences. In His justice, God could not fail to severely punish the pollution of His spotless bride the Church — the degradation, the strangulation and the agonizing dismemberment of that beautiful bride by the usurpers — with the most severe penalties. If this was your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter would you not demand the full measure of justice be meted out? And yet this was your Holy Mother the Church, violated in a spiritual, supernatural way that none of us on earth can even begin to comprehend in the manner in which God himself understands and experiences it. His justice being what it is, it could not go unpunished in some way both as terrible and as sorrowful to behold as it is fitting.
The reason so many have been blinded to the heighth, depth and breadth of this tragedy is that for over a century before it could first be detected, a trend crept into theological circles regarding the promise made by Christ to His Church. In walking that thin line to defend her against claims that she could one day become obsolete, some theologians crossed over that line and maintained she was untouchable; that especially regarding her hierarchical structure, She was an impregnable wall that could never be breached or surmounted. “I sit a queen and am no widow…” But in their assumptions, they not only ignored the many antipopes and schisms in the past (as well as the advent of Antichrist and predictions in the Apocalypse for the end times); they never once breathed a word about the warnings of Pope Paul IV, (if they were even aware of them.) More importantly, they entirely discounted human nature and the gift of free will.
A call ignored and punishment for sin
Yes, God promised to be with the successors of the apostles including the Pope remaining faithful to him to the very end, even to the consummation. But Christ made this promise knowing full well that His call to preach the Gospel to all men would not be limited to the Apostles and disciples, for His Pontiffs would one day formally incorporate the laity as vested partners of the successors of the apostles. To deny this is to deny that Christ is all knowing, and to intimate He was not fully cognizant of what He was doing. Why else would the popes consistently refer to the apostolate of the laity in their addresses on Catholic Action? And Pope Pius XII says this apostolate may even be engaged in without a hierarchical mission, especially in the absence of the hierarchy. So why are so many blasphemously doubting that these promises of Christ to His Apostles were made without such Divine knowledge? Did he not grant the pope and his successors the power of binding and loosing? Here is further proof of what Pope Pius XII expected from us as apostolic assistants, laid down in his Sept. 7, 1947 address to Catholic youth:
(He warns us away from vague, sentimental spirituality, and he exhorts us to cultivate strong convictions, rooted in doctrine):
“Catholic thought has already profoundly explored every aspect of the questions relevant to religion, to redemption, to the Church. It is up to you to make your own its conclusions, its solutions, its answers, so that the faith in you may be living and fruitful. This is your first duty.”
“But this courage must be shown even if… you should find yourselves in the minority, few in number, perhaps even alone, faced with an adversary more bold and more numerous. Be ready to resist to the end, against them all in your affirmation of the law of God, in the defense of the Faith and of the Church — should We add also, in the defense of order, of progress and of social peace, on every occasion that the common good requires your collaboration?”
An Indissoluble Union of Religion and Life
“The [early] ‘Church of the Catacombs’…did not live separated from the world …The lives of Christians, in those first blood-stained centuries, were spent in the street and in the home, in the open… They frequented, as others did, the forum, the baths, the shops, the workrooms, the markets, the public squares… They were fully conscious of winning the world to Christ, of transforming, according to the teaching and law of the Divine Savior, both public and private life, from which would spring up a new civilization, would rise up another Rome out of the tombs of the two princes of the Apostles. They achieved their aim. Rome and the Roman empire became Christian.”
The Conclusion – A Call to Action for the laity:
“In fact, the greater the violence of the efforts of unbelief and irreligion to jostle Christ and His Church off humanity’s path, the more the ranks of lay apostles, especially the young, should close in and do combat for the sovereign rights of Christ and the liberty of the Church, on which depend not only the eternal salvation of souls, but even the dignity and happiness of men here on earth, the civil order, justice and peace…”
That this clear call from the popes was never heeded is the reason for the tragedy we are enduring today. Catholics became slothful in their faith. They took everything they had for granted and became attached to the priestly personalities in the Church and external devotions; this rather than develop the interior life to be used as a basis for their own apostolate. Despite Pope Pius XII’s words in Mystici Corporis, begging for lay cooperation, they refused to put forth the required effort to fully live their faith in obedience to the pope. They assumed that regardless of whatever they did or did not do, the Church would always exist because of Christ’s promises. “I sit a queen…”
The explanation for what is described above involves the sin of presumption. Rash presumption makes one expect to obtain supernatural goods in ways other than those ordained by God. Revs. McHugh and Callan, in their Moral Theology: A Complete Course, Vol. I teach regarding presumption: “It is a mortal sin that does grave injury to the divine attributes… In its contempt of God’s majesty and justice consists the final offense of presumption.” Theologians overstating the case for perpetuity — completely forgetting biblical prophecy, the Church’s own tumultuous history, the heresies of Arianism, Protestantism, Gallicanism and Modernism, the encroaching evil of the powers that be which could be seen on all sides — presumed that the demand for strict justice could never override God’s promises. They ascribe to the attribute of indefectibility a quality that not even Pope Pius XII conceded it. In an allocution to the Roman Curia given December 4, 1943, Pope Pius XII reminded Catholics that it is true that “the Church’s indefectibility is visible, inasmuch as it is demonstrable” and that this indefectibility evidenced from the past is “the gauge of Her future.” He cautions however, “But if this indefectibility is a matter of experience, it remains, nonetheless, a mystery (emph. the Pope’s); for it cannot be explained naturally, but only by reason of the fact, which is known to us by divine revelation, that Christ who founded the Church is with Her in every trial until the end of the world.”
The only possible explanation for God’s indefinite withdrawal of the juridical Church from this earth is that His justice demanded such a withdrawal. The Church as Christ constituted it yet exists materially, but God now reserves the right to either determine its future restoration or to end its course here on earth with His Second Coming. The fact that we find ourselves without a juridic Church today is a punishment in direct proportion to the enormity of the crimes committed by members of the hierarchy who either engaged in heresy or moral evils or tolerated them. That a Church purchased at such a great price could be so little appreciated and rebellion and disobedience so easily ignored is intolerable to God the Father who sent us His only begotten Son, God the Son who suffered a most horrific death to redeem us and God the Holy Ghost, who must refuse his light and truth to those not worthy of receiving it. “And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
Let those who refuse to believe this explain why it happened to God’s very Chosen People in the Old Testament. Catholics foolishly and pridefully presume it could never happen to those of us who have inherited their promise, even though we have been given so much more than they received. It will be 64 years this October since the death of Pope Pius XII. The year 2030 has been targeted for the completion of the new world order and 2028 will mark 70 years the Holy See has been vacant. It is no coincidence that the Babylonian Captivity lasted 70 years just as Jeremiah predicted and mentioned in the book of Daniel. For that captivity was a punishment for idolatry and rebellion against God by the king and the high priests (Ezekiel 28:2) as well as the people and it was an offense that could not be tolerated despite His promise that His people would remain in Judah. Below are the reasons taken from Holy Scripture explaining why God could not keep that promise at that time, although He later would regather the Jews.
The Church’s Babylonian Captivity
Ironically, Rome is often referred to by St. Paul as Babylon. The Babylonian Captivity of the Chosen People lasted exactly 70 years as the prophet Jeremiah predicted, extending from the burning of the Temple in 586 B.C. to its reconstruction in 516 B.C. Even though God had promised to preserve the Chosen People in Judah, He permitted them to be taken away. The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel had predicted, even before Jerusalem fell, that the Chosen People were not following the law and would be punished, as Moses had warned them. Among their many abominable sins was idolatry. In the time leading up to the Babylonian captivity, Judah’s kings became so evil God finally completely disowned that kingly line of descent, vowing no one issuing from it would ever sit on David’s throne again (Jeremiah 22: 30). In Ezekiel 21: 25-27, God tells the prophet the King’s office would be suspended until the rightful claimant to the throne appeared. This of course was Christ Himself, rejected by the Jewish nation, which is why they have not possessed their land ever since. But when the Jews convert, (Zacharias 12:10), they will once again be able to peacefully occupy their land, this time forever.
“If thou wilt not keep, and fulfil all the words of this law, that are written in this volume, and fear his glorious and terrible name: that is, The Lord thy God: The Lord shall increase thy plagues, and the plagues of thy seed, plagues great and lasting, infirmities grievous and perpetual. And he shall bring back on thee all the afflictions of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of, and they shall stick fast to thee. Moreover, the Lord will bring upon thee all the diseases, and plagues, that are not written in the volume of this law till he consume thee: And you shall remain few in number, who before were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because thou heardst not the voice of the Lord thy God. And as the Lord rejoiced upon you before doing good to you, and multiplying you: so he shall rejoice destroying and bringing you to nought, so that you shall be taken away from the land which thou shalt go in to possess. The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the farthest parts of the earth to the ends thereof…” (Deuteronomy 28: 58-64).
“Moreover, all the chief of the priests, and the people wickedly transgressed according to all the abominations of the Gentiles: and they defiled the house of the Lord, which he had sanctified to himself in Jerusalem. And the Lord the God of their fathers sent to them, by the hand of his messengers, rising early, and daily admonishing them: because he spared his people and his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused the prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, and there was no remedy. For he brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans, and he slew their young men with the sword in the house of his sanctuary, he had no compassion on young man, or maiden, old man or even him that stooped for age, but he delivered them all into his hands. And all the vessels of the house of the Lord, great and small, and the treasures of the temple and of the king, and of the princes he carried away to Babylon. And the enemies set fire to the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burnt all the towers, and whatsoever was precious they destroyed. Whosoever escaped the sword, was led into Babylon, and there served the king and his sons till the reign of the king of Persia” (2 Paralipomenon 36: 14-21).
“If therefore you will hear my voice, and keep my covenant, you shall be my peculiar possession above all people: for all the earth is mine. And you shall be to me a priestly kingdom, and a holy nation. Those are the words thou shalt speak to the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5). This is the promise that we inherited from the Jewish nation, but it is dependent on keeping the covenant — obeying the 10 Commandments, accepting Christ as Savior and the Pope as His Vicar, obeying the laws and teachings of the Church. Our promise of a Church that would last until the consummation was absolute, while theirs was conditional on the arrival of the Messiah and His acceptance by them. The Jews had no king or prophet following the captivity until Christ came to them as the Messiah. That king they rejected, although His name stands written above Christ’s head on every Catholic crucifix to remind us He was Christ the King, the cornerstone they refused to accept, the Messiah they longed for then put to death. Catholics, in rejecting their earthly king the pope and failing to defend him and restore him to power when the usurpers reigned, also at the same time rejected the invisible head of the Church, Christ the King. And so our visible king was taken away indefinitely, just as happened with the Chosen People.
Some will note that the Jews retained their priesthood, and they did, but their prophets spoke no more. Their temple was rebuilt and their sacrifices resumed, although they never recovered the Ark of the Covenant. And the Holy Ghost, the Shekinah — Who had once rested upon the top of the Ark under the wings of the Cherubim — departed from the Temple shortly before the Babylonian Captivity, never to be seen in the Temple again. As explained in the book of Ezekiel, this also was because of the abominable idolatry and apostasy of the Jewish nation. While thus devoid of the Shekinah, Christ visited Herod’s Temple before it was finished in fulfillment of the Scriptures. The Jewish priesthood was very corrupt even before the time of Christ’s birth as we see from the Gospels. The covenant God made with his Chosen People was inferior to Christ’s institution of the Church and the Apostolic College, which only was the completion of that covenant. God did not assign a perpetual head to speak to them in His name or a college of cardinals, or bishops required to be in constant union with a head priest and bishop as did His Son. He never promised all of Israel He would be with THEM until the final consummation.
The subversion and demolition of Christ’s Church was far greater than anything prior to that in the history of the Church, save our Lord’s betrayal by Judas and His death on the Cross. Seeing His Son crucified again by those who once loved Him, God extinguished the living light of the Holy Ghost, the Shekinah — speaking through Christ’s Vicars in His name — and removed the Holy Sacrifice from their midst. So had He taken away the Ark of the Covenant with its chalice of manna, that served as the Eucharistic prototype, until the conversion of the Jews in the last days. This along with the evil chief priests of Catholicism, joined as one body by Christ to Peter’s successors. One wonders what will happen when the Jews do convert and the Ark is recovered. How will this affect our own Church and will our Sacrifice ever be restored, or — if God in His infinite mercy deigns to forgives us — will we simply enjoy Christ in all His splendor in the heavenly New Jerusalem?
How much longer this state of affairs will last is uncertain but that it is richly deserved is a certainty we cannot deny. We continue to reproach Traditionalists on this blog because as long as they perpetrate the lie that they are the continuation of Christ’s Church on earth, they prevent the repentance demanded by God’s justice to repair the damage done to the Church and to their own souls. They join the Novus Ordo church in the resounding chorus “I sit a queen and am no widow and sorrow I shall never see” (Apoc. 18:7). Holy Scripture tells us otherwise, “…for in one hour is she made desolate (Apoc.18:19). And the light of the lamp shall shine no more… the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee” (Apoc. 18:23). Scripture commentators don’t have much to say regarding the meaning of this last verse, but it seems it could be interpreted as follows: The sanctuary lamp declaring Christ’s presence in the most Blessed Sacrament burning no more and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride — Christ and His spouse the Church, speaking as One — ceasing to be heard anymore at all. That occurred with the Church’s spiritual destruction in 1958, yet She will never really be destroyed. Even after the final consummation and the destruction of her physical existence, Christ’s Mystical Body will last forever.
The message to be taken away from all this is crystallized in the allocution to the Roman Curia by Pope Pius XII mentioned above: The Church’s indefectibility is a mystery, and mysteries are to be accepted on faith even if they are not completely understood. We do not know or understand precisely how the Church continues to exist, except that Her true Head is our Lord, and all faithful Catholics are members of His Mystical Body. Isn’t the Pope telling us in this quote, then, that past experience of this “mystery” is not able to be precisely defined and used as a gauge for future reference? Doesn’t the very language he uses indicate that Catholics must not be too sure they fully understand the totality of this word’s implications? Given the fact that indefectibility is a mystery, this definitely leaves some room for its interpretation that we mere mortals cannot fathom. We must believe in it nevertheless, and await its final explanation, either following the Church’s restoration or, we pray, our arrival in Heaven.