+ St. Paul, First Hermit+
As the spiral downward inexorably continues, those now belatedly understanding where all this is heading are beginning to panic. In the face of the inescapable they are forgetting that Holy Scripture encourages us to avoid this very reaction and to remain calm and trust in God; to distrust the false Christs and prophets, political and clerical alike, and to refuse to give in to the terror they are attempting to instill in us. In the process even Catholics who should know better have forgotten how we are to measure and interpret these times and the traps we must avoiding order to assure our eternal salvation.
One of these traps is the tendency to assign to passages of the Apocalypse an interpretation that is not seated in the spiritual realm but is more suggestive, instead, of the literal opinion of that book common to Protestants. Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P., S.T.M, D.S.S.cr, (a one-time professor of New Testament exegesis at the Collegio Angelico in Rome) made some very astute observations on the various methods used by commentators to interpret the Apocalypse. In his The Catholic Student’s Aids to the Bible, Vol. 5, he writes:
“The Apocalypse must be judged from the standpoint of prophecy…The interpretation, then, of the Apocalypse must be governed by the rules which hold good in the interpretation of all prophecy. For the original hearers…of the prophecies of Isaias or Jeremias, only one thing was certain, namely that, being divinely inspired prophecies, the things foretold would infallibly come to pass… Since, then, the ultimate goal of the Apocalypse is the last things, full light will not be thrown on this prophetic book till those last things have received their ultimate fulfillment.” Pope explained that the attitudes of commentators “has led to much harmful interpretation of the Apocalypse.” And indeed it has, even among Catholic commentators. Rev. R. Gerald Culleton says much the same: “All true prophecy is from God, for His glory and the sake of the ‘elect.’ As it becomes fulfilled it establishes its own divine origin and the reliability of the documents which convey it,” (The Reign of Antichrist, 1951). And nearly all Catholic commentators agree that the Apocalypse is to be taken in the spiritual, not the literal sense. The literal sense is not entirely excluded, but the spiritual sense must be primary. As Pope Leo XIII cautions in Providentissimus Deus:
“The sacred writings are wrapped in a certain religious obscurity and no one can enter into their interior without a guide.” He goes on to quote from the Vatican Council which reminds Catholics that “the true sense of Holy Scripture is that held by our Holy Mother the Church, whose place it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures… no one is permitted to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.” While some may believe this author has done this in holding Paul 6 as Antichrist, read the disclaimer on the opening page of this website: all written here is subject to the judgment of a future Pope, should we ever be fortunate enough to see one. I have done my best to align everything written on these topics with the comments of approved Scripture scholars and theologians, also any available papal documents. We are given a certain leeway in these times because we have no true pontiff or hierarchy to appeal to.
Can we deny that apocalyptic prophecy has been fulfilled in our day? Many do; the only thing we are saying here is that wherever we observe that several approved Church authors have opined on a Scriptural passage, unless it is directly contradicted by what we see before us, we must follow their opinions rather than holding our own as Protestants are wont to do. I will give an example of one such opinion circulating on the Internet which some true Catholics now hold. It reads like this: The current COVID-19 vaccines, because at least some of them have been developed using aborted fetal material, are the mark of the beast. Now of course if Catholics know or even suspect certain vaccines have been developed using aborted fetal material, they are bound not to receive them on moral grounds, and there is a basis for this supposition. On the other hand, if it could be shown to be relatively certain that other vaccines were not developed in this manner and there is a serious reason for receiving one, there would be no sin in doing so.
The problem with the vaccine from aborted tissue and the claim that it is the mark of the beast is that many now living today as Catholics probably received vaccines decades ago, either as young adults or children, that already were contaminated with fetal tissue (see https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/fetal-tissues). At that time no one knew of this contamination. So if this line of thinking is followed and such a vaccination is the mark, those receiving it would merit eternal damnation. But how could such people merit damnation if they did not know the vaccine contained fetal tissue? Of course if one received a vaccination knowing the tissue was there and intending to do so for material and social gain, then that would merit damnation as a serious sin unless they truly repented and made amendment. And while the suspect vaccines are certainly one of many tools in the arsenal maintained by those operating under Antichrist’s remaining system, and so indirectly are a product of that system, they cannot be said to correspond with the spiritual meaning of the mark of the beast.
The commentators tell us the true nature of the mark, although all do not comment on its actual components or meaning. Fr. E. S. Berry (The Apocalypse of St. John) and H. B. Kramer (The Book of Destiny) indicate the mark is a hellish form of Baptism and intimate the mark on the hand could be false Holy Orders. Fathers Berry, Arminjon (The End of the Present World and Mysteries of the Future Life), Huchede (History of Antichrist) also Abp. Sheen describe an entire counterfeit church or religion in opposition to the true Church, which means that church would have its own rites. Catholics receive Baptism on their foreheads and most Catholics know that during the ordination ceremony, priests are anointed on their hands (thumbs and index fingers) which touch the Sacred Host, giving the power to transform the bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. But it is the bishops who are the primary pastors of the Church, not the priests, and the only valid episcopal rite of the Church below shows what relevance this reference to hands and forehead really holds regarding apostolic succession.
Laying on of the Hands
“Then the Consecrator and the assistant bishops (all wearing mitres) touch with both hands the head of the one to be consecrated (who is still kneeling) saying: “Receive the Holy Ghost.” (In the NO rite, this action is done in silence.) He makes the Sign of the Cross on the cloth crown of the mitre, and then anoints the rest of the crown while saying: “May thy head be anointed and consecrated by heavenly benediction in the pontifical order. “May thy head be anointed and consecrated by heavenly benediction in the pontifical order. And making with his right hand, the sign of the cross three times over the head of the Elect, he says:
“In the name of the + Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy + Ghost. R. Amen. V. Peace be with thee. R. And with thy spirit.” [From the above wording it is clear that the Bishop-elect’s head is actually being anointed now and that the Consecrator is actually blessing him in this moment using the Pontifical blessing of a bishop.]
“While Ps. 132 is being sung, the Bishop-elect has one long strip of cloth placed on his neck. The Consecrator sits down and wearing his mitre anoints the hands of the Bishop-elect who is kneeling before the Consecrator. The hands are anointed in the form of a cross. The Consecrator dips his thumb in the oil and draws two lines from the thumb of the right hand to the
index finger of the left hand and from the thumb of the left hand to the index finger of the right hand. (See https://www.hrcac.org.uk/Comparison-of-Old-and-New-Consecration-Rites-2.pdf).
All of the above must be taken in the spiritual sense in which it is intended. The reference to this mark of the beast in Apocalypse is spiritual. The sea beast in Apocalypse Chap. 13 institutes new sacraments to “replace” the old. This is the Man of Sin, Antichrist in person. There is nothing that says that the successors of Antichrist might not also promote some identification sign that must be received on the hand or forehead that would mark citizens in a way that could determine whether they buy or sell, but this is only a material extenuation of the spiritual reality. Christ teaches us in Matthew 10:28: “And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” We should fear only that which will certainly kill our souls — the falsification of the Church established by Christ and the Sacraments He instituted. The political remnants of Antichrist’s system can definitely kill our bodies, but we cannot lose sight of the true spiritual meaning of this mark and hope to save our souls. It is the key to everything we must believe and all we must do to persevere unto the end.
Antichrist did not come to destroy political empires, although in the course of his mission these also were destroyed. His sole target was the Church. Rome was the location of his throne and his successors yet rule there to carry out his agenda. This is the Lawless One and his system; there are two entities. Spiritual meanings cannot propose new doctrine, only illuminate doctrines already existing. Everyone knows that the pope was considered by the world to be the enemy of everything Protestant, pagan and especially Masonic. That Satan, and ultimately his “son,” Antichrist, would consider him his foremost enemy and covet his throne has been demonstrated time and time again throughout history, beginning with Simon Magus and antipopes classified by the Church as antichrists throughout history. That in consequence he would set out to also destroy any possibility that the papacy could revive itself is only a given. Hence we have the NO sacraments and the mark.
Much more could be said on this topic, and God willing, will be said in the weeks to come. For those who seek them out, the texts of Holy Scripture comfort God’s people consumed with fear in these times. Christ has never abandoned us; He is with us now more surely than ever before. No one knows what might happen over the next several days, weeks or months, but we all should pray for each other, put our spiritual affairs in order and thank God for the many blessings He has granted us in being able to live in this country and freely practice our faith all these years. Pray, watch, and make reparation for the many evils that have been perpetrated under the guise of good. Place your trust in Jesus’ Sacred Heart alone.