Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Coming Persecution

Here's the thing about being a Prophet. The trick is you don't peer into the future, you peer into the present. You simply take a look at what's going on around you, at the stuff everybody else sees but no one wants to notice. And you extrapolate.

For instance, you gather the hints being thrown out in the Father Pavone situation and you make the obvious connection, as I do here, that things are going to go from bad to worse - and the cause is the heresy of Americanism and our devotion to consequentialism, which will doom the pro-life movement from within, despite our best efforts to rationalize our sin.

Likewise, Fr. James V. Schall, S. J. writes a prophetic piece about the coming persecution of the Catholic Church, which is really only the present persecution extrapolated out in time. Fr. Schall points out, as an alarming example, the legal mandate that private insurance must now cover contraception, about which a commenter notes

I work for a Catholic-sponsored health insurance company. We are preparing to comply with the HHS mandate. There is NO sign that the company is fighting back. I'm an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and I'm terribly distressed by my company's apparently ho-hum attitude toward this assault on religious liberty. It affects all orthodox Christians (small-o and capital O). I don't know if there is a plan to fight back or not, but I've seen no evidence of it yet. I've already decided to resign if the company does comply with the HHS mandate. I don't think that I could in conscience work for an organization that goes against its own moral and ethical teaching.

... a very telling example of the reality of the coming persecution - it's already here and it's forcing people to lose their jobs at the very least.

Fr. Schall also predicts that soon in the United States, as in China, there will be two "churches", one an underground catacomb true Church and the other the government sanctioned "official church". The true Church will be persecuted and shuttered because of "hate speech" - which means pointing out the sins of sodomy, fornication, contraception, abortion, the abuse of children, the abuse of the poor, de facto slavery to the state and to corporations, and all the things we're not only tolerating but celebrating in our culture today. The "official church", the false church, will join in celebrating all these horrors and will make it all go down smoothly by offering services with gay guitar music and self-esteem workshops over coffee and donuts.

I will be bold enough to add another prophecy, based simply upon observing what we see today and what we've seen in the past generation. And that is this: two-thirds of the Catholic bishops in the United States will collude with the spirit of antichrist in the coming generation and will glibly and complacently join in the fun of the sham Christ and his sham Church.

Now, friends, I know this sounds just a tad apocalyptic. I know I sound as if I've put on a bad wig and am imitating Michael Voris, who has rightly been pointing out the sins of the liberals, while using the Orwelian tactics of a Ministry of Mis-information demagogue to do so.
I know I sound as if I'm a furious mad-trad, building a bunker with my bare hands to ward off the coming persecution, even though I have an obsessive-compuslive fear of getting my hands dirty. I know I sound as if I've performed the audio book version of too many end-of-times Michael O'Brien novels (which are quite good, by the way).

But here's why I'm not really crazy.

And here's why Fr. Schall is not really crazy. This is the last paragraph of his article:

Constitutional assurances of free speech, free exercise of religion, and limited government no longer carry much weight against entrenched “democratic” ideologies, something both John Paul II and Benedict XVI foresaw. Few of us like to think this way about America, no doubt. We recall the Polish bishops before 1939. But our “invasion” does not come from the outside. It comes from within our souls, as all disorders of polity do.

It comes from within our souls, as all disorders of polity do.

That's a great line, and it shows both the strength and the sanity of the Christian Faith.

The heart of this prophecy is the trouble in our hearts.

What the "professional prophets" such as Michael Voris fail to proclaim in their jeremiads is love - the love of the pierced heart of Our Savior which looks upon the Battle of the End Times not as a battle of "us vs. them" but as a battle for the salvation of souls, which is fought in each and every human heart and can only be won by the grace of God, by joining in His everlasting sacrifice, by suffering, by loving our enemies; and by realizing that the answer is not Activism (the heresy that nothing we do matters unless we effect some sort of broad social change - which underlies the motivations of the Lying Apologists and the errors of some in the pro-life movement); the answer is not paranoia and hunkering down (the neo-Puritanism of the mad-trads), closing our hearts to our neighbors and to the world; the answer is none of these things.

In the coming persecution, the answer is within you. It is the Kingdom of God, which is within you, among you, and the only "order of polity" that is not "disordered", for the Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City of True Polity, is the fruit of our hearts united with His.


KathleenLundquist said...

This is scary and beautiful - thank you, Kevin.

Tom Leith said...

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield Illinois is coming to St. Louis in November to speak on the topic of exorcism. Keep an eye on http://credostlouis.org or sign up for the mailing list.

Apropos this particular topic, Bishop Paprocki has invoked the image of the late 19th century Kulturkampf in Germany. Here is his Excellency's letter in Catholic Times: http://bit.ly/nyrVP7

There has never been anything but persecution of Catholics in America. Some years back I tried to make a case for the Catholic ghetto. Whether or no it is a good idea to choose to ghetto-ize ourselves, it is going to be done to us, unless that too is made illegal.

The only bright spot I see is the number of Evangelical Christians converting to Catholicism. Even if the flood of conversions promised by the proponents of the liturgical reform does not finally materialize, small-o orthodoxy maintained in and out of season might be recognized and defended by the American demos, which is overwhelmingly Christian.

Anonymous said...

Delete the truth if you must, Kevin.

It's still the truth.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Anonymous, I am deleting your comments because you are in the midst of an unhealthy fixation on this issue.

If you really care about the "truth" and don't want it "deleted", then stop deconstructing the Catechism, stop saying that a lie is not a lie, and stop making excuses for something that is, at its root, shameful.

Your latest stance that while the CCC presents the settled teaching of the Church, you as an ordained cleric are free to ignore it on the issue of Lying because bishops and popes have not weighed in on this subject (despite my pointing out to you repeatedly that Bishop Augustine and Pope Gregory clearly condemn lying under any and all circumstances, as did the Angelic Doctor, and as did the Catechism of Trent) - and your basing this stance on a vapid theory of assent that gives you leeway to hold whatever position you will - is, quite frankly, embarrassing. Your unwillingness to let this issue go, even when I refer to Lying Apologists being what they are - those who make Apologies for Lying (what else could they be called?) - is becoming disturbing.

In addition, your tone is far from charitable, despite my attempts to be as charitable to you as I can. But I say again that I consider you a good man and a good Catholic, despite your willful blindness on this issue and your apparent obsession with it.

It goes without saying that if your conscience is clear on this subject, then hold whatever position you must. But I will not let you comment on my blog ON THIS SUBJECT. (Feel free to comment on any other subject, however.) Our personal dispute on Lying has been aired ad nauseum at "Gilbert" and Mark Shea's site, and I won't continue it here, nor will I continue it anywhere else as it has passed the point of being a productive debate, and is becoming frankly rather sick.

God bless you. I hope our prayers for one another will bring us together again as friends and cooperating Catholics.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Tom Leith, thanks for the link on Kulturkampf. As for exorcism, I finally watched "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" last night and then had trouble sleeping! The original case upon which the film is based, however, is much more ambivalent than the film portrayed. The priests convicted of negligent homicide in the case of the real-life "Emily Rose" were probably indeed guilty.

At any rate, exorcism is one of those subjects in the Church that can easily become "National Enquirer-ized", as I'm sure you know. The fact that Fr. Euteneur was sexually assaulting young girls he was supposedly "exorcising" is proof enough that the rite is subject to grave abuse.

Anyway, let me know when Bishop Paprocki comes to town! Maybe Sean Dailey will come with him, holding his umbrella.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Kevin--you are making false accusations against a cleric, which impugns my reputation, by publicly calling me a "dissenter" from magisterial teaching.

If I seem "obsessed" by this, I'm sorry. I just want you to have the truth so that you can stop the pharisaical accusations and get back to being someone who doesn't divide the Body of Christ with uninformed claims.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Deacon Jim, one of the reasons I refered to you as "anonymous" above is my desire to back away from publicly saying that you're in dissent. I think you're wrong, I think there's ample evidence that you're wrong, and I think you're turning somersaults so as to avoid assenting to a Church teaching that you don't like. If you can think of a term for that other than "dissent" please suggest it.

Again, I will publicly say you're a good man and a solid Catholic. If you can make the case that you're not dissenting on this, or that your conscience allows you to take a position that appears to be dissent, fine.

But let's drop this. I just posted what I hope is my final post on this subject - yet again. I know you won't agree with it, but let's move on.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

"If you can make the case that you're not dissenting on this,..."

I did this earlier today, but you deleted that comment...

Praying for you...

Kevin O'Brien said...

You didn't do that earlier today, but I'm happy to re-post it for you and let you have the last word in this combox - though I respond to your claims in my latest post here: http://thwordinc.blogspot.com/2011/09/end-of-arguing-without-end.html

Praying for you as well! May we all find unity in Christ.


Deacon Jim Russell has left a new comment on your post "The Coming

The term "Lying Apologist" used in this piece is both erroneous and
pejorative, as is Mr. O'Brien's understanding of the teaching of the Catechism on lying expressed previously by him in this blog.

As an ordained minister of the Church, obligated to teach accurately in the name of the Church, I testify to the fact that the teaching on lying repeated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the "common teaching of
Catholic theology" (not originating with the pope and bishops) and therefore belongs to the "field of the free opinions". This means that Catholics of good will, being faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic
Church, can disagree as to whether so-called "lying" is ever permissible and therefore whether so-called "lying" is intrinsically evil, as is the general opinion of Catholic theologians, but not the *only* opinion of Catholic theologians.

We need to be clear that, lacking official teaching from the pope and bishops on this, Catholics can still hold different views of the teaching on lying while still being faithful to the Magisterium.


Deacon Jim Russell

Anonymous said...

I'll meet you all for the underground 1:30 AM Mass at New Baden, IL when the persecutions come.