And so Church and world have staggered into another calendar year with everything coming into place for a third World War to wipe mankind off the face of the earth. And these “Comments” have reached their 600th issue when it seems just yesterday that they were celebrating their 500th issue. The world is spinning at a giddy pace – in Latin, “volvitur orbis” – but Almighty God is in full command, and His Cross is firmly planted, nor does it budge – “stat crux.” God gives a great degree of liberty to His enemies to act as His scourge upon a godless generation, but the scourging is for their good, to separate the sheep from the goats and to stop the sheep from sliding into Hell. And let His enemies not think that they will get the better of Him – He used the Assyrians to chastise the Israelites, but woe to the Assyrians if they thought they would escape His justice! – Isaiah X, especially verse 15 – God is not mocked.
But at the very heart of the world’s problems is the unprecedented problem of the Catholic Church. The Church depends on its hierarchy of bishops and priests, so it was logical that if God planned for His Church to decline before the end of the world (Lk. XVIII, 8), then the hierarchy would be involved in the decline, and that was the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). The time for their holding strong had lasted from the Counter-Reformation in the 1500s, four admirable centuries of Catholicism, but after that resistance they gave way, and replaced God’s Catholic Church with their own Newchurch, or Conciliar Church. In the 1970’s there was still enough faith in Catholics to make possible a serious continuation of the resistance, for which Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society of St Pius X provided a lead, but after another 40 years his successors gave up that effort, and then Catholics were more abandoned than ever.
Today the life still seems to be draining out of them. It is an illusion to act or to react as though we are still in the 1970s. “Volvitur orbis.” The world has moved on, and with it, the Church. Extreme conditions call for extreme measures. As one once thriving Catholic institution after another turns slowly into a shell-game, Catholics turn slowly into walking ghosts of their former selves, and it seems as though there is little they can do about it. Nor are rhetoric or fine words the answer. The fine words are worn out, and the rhetoric is hollow. Catholics depend on their hierarchy, and their hierarchy is stricken. The Shepherd is struck, and the sheep are scattered, and it is no use their turning to the stricken Shepherd. He is gone!
A recent piece of news, or rumour – the geometry is variable, according to public reaction – is that the Roman sub-Congregation of Ecclesia Dei (ED) , founded by Rome immediately after the Society’s 1988 Consecrations, to reach out to Catholics tempted to follow Archbishop Lefebvre instead of Rome, is going to be re-absorbed into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Apparently the re-absorption was due to be announced on December 20, but perhaps Rome thought twice. For while the Society’s present leaders might be only too happy to renounce the special outreach of ED and to put an end to their own “schism” (as they see it) by their coming fully under the “normal” CDF, there may still be enough Catholics Catholic enough to want Rome to make at least some gesture still in favour of Tradition. But ED is long since a shell-game. Both Rome and the Society leaders want the Roman trap to be closed . . .
Then what do Catholics do who have the Faith and want to keep it? First of all, take stock. The Church building in Rome was cemented by 250 years’ worth of the blood of martyrs, blood gushing red, including of many young girls. Where are the potential martyrs today? Almighty God has had enough of Catholics growing over centuries weaker and weaker in the Faith, and He is bringing back the lions to make some worthy candidates for Heaven. Secondly, let us gird our loins accordingly, prepare to play the man, as did those girls (without a trace of feminism), and humble ourselves beneath the Wisdom and Justice of God. Thirdly, let us remember that many presently last may soon be first, and vice versa. And fourthly, always, “Watch and pray, watch and pray, Fifteen Mysteries every day.”