Skip to comments.Is the Catholic Church in that Time of Purification that Ratzinger Predicted? (Caucus)
Posted on 04/08/2010 10:02:25 AM PDT by NYer
April 7, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The near-constant battering of the Catholic Church during the past month over the sexual abuse scandal has most Catholics reeling and much of the media in a feeding frenzy, seeing the scandals as an opportunity to bring down the archenemy of the sexual revolution. This latest cycle of the sexual abuse scandal is different from that which took place in Canada and Boston years ago. It involves new and disastrous revelations daily and from all over Europe and North America, with sustained coverage in the media.
For over 35 years Pope Benedict XVI has predicted a smaller, more faithful church. The 1970 book Glaube und Zukunft, based on five lectures by then-Fr. Joseph Ratzinger given in 1969 at radio stations in Baviera and Hessen, is the first recorded mentioning of this prediction.
In those lectures the future pope said, "From today's crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal. She will be small and, to a large extent, will have to start from the beginning. She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendour. Because of the smaller number of her followers, she will lose many of her privileges in society."
In discussing the matter with my colleagues the consensus is that this crisis is definitely part of that long-predicted purification. Unfortunately, however, it comes in a very confusing package. It would be easier to see truth in an obvious conflict between good and evil: where, for instance, some in the church were advocating for abortion or at least choice, versus those who maintained the defense of the sanctity of human life.
But the murkiness of this crisis has the influence of evil written all over it.
The abuse is not exclusively tied to liberalism in the Church, such as was the case with former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland. Weakland was a notorious liberal who, in addition to admitting to transferring priests with a history of sexual misconduct back into churches without alerting parishioners, admitted to homosexual encounters while serving as archbishop. Weakland retired in 2002 after it was revealed he paid hundreds of thousands of church dollars to a former homosexual lover who threatened to publicly accuse Weakland of sexually assaulting him.
But the ongoing and mindboggling revelations of abuse by Legion of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado show that this crisis touches even what seemed like an oasis of orthodoxy.
This crisis reminds me of Christs prophecy in Matthew 24:24 where he warns that times will come when even the elect will be deceived.
It shakes the faith of many as even bishops are found to be guilty not only of horrendous cover-ups and unthinkable enabling by shuffling around abusive clergy, but also of sexual abuse and perverse activity themselves.
Todays revelations about Norwegian Bishop Georg Muller are devastating. Muller, 58, who resigned last year saying only he was unsuited to the work, now has admitted that the reason for his resignation was his sexual abuse of a 10-year-old choir boy 20 years ago.
In another devastating revelation this week, retired French Bishop Jacques Gaillot of Evreux in France said of his taking in a convicted Canadian pedophile priest in 1987, who later went on to abuse children in France: "back then, that's how the Church operated."
But at the same time the medias coverage on the scandal must be viewed with a very critical eye, as was seen in the recent attempts by the New York Times to unjustly smear Pope Benedict.
As Colleen Raezler of the Culture and Media Institute points out, the broadcast media relentlessly pursued their objective of smearing the Catholic Church during the holiest week of the year for Catholics.
ABC, CBS and NBC featured 26 stories during Holy Week about Pope Benedicts perceived role in the sex abuse scandal the Catholic Church is now facing, she reported. Only one story focused on the measures the church has adopted in recent years to prevent abuse. In 69 percent of the stories (18 out of 26) reporters used language that presumed the popes guilt. Only one made specific mention of the recent drop in the incidence of abuse allegations against the Catholic Church.
While the media is now focused on the Catholic Church, this is an attack on all Christianity and Christian morality. That is why Lutheran pastor John Stephenson has come out so strongly in defense of the pope.
Will the church survive the crisis? Believing Catholics say that it will, since Christ promised (Matthew 16:18) that the gates of Hell would not overcome it. But, as the pope predicted, it will likely be a smaller and purer church.
Many Catholics are ramping up their prayers for the church, and the pope. The Knights of Columbus are encouraging all their members around the world to join in a special novena for Pope Benedict XVI, beginning Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, and concluding Monday, April 19, the fifth anniversary of the Pope Benedicts election in 2005.
Canadian Catholic author Michael OBrien, a good friend of mine, spoke with me today about the crisis. Michael warns of where he sees things going from a spiritual vantage point. And while his is a stark vision, it remains hopeful.
The famed author of the prophetic novel Father Elijah said: It has been ever thus with the Church. Satan sifts us like wheat.
In a generation (if we should be granted that much more time in history), the aging self-deceived liberalism of the Churches in the West will be gone, as dead wood that has dropped from the tree. At the same time, the internal rot that has disguised itself as orthodoxy will have been burned away by trial and tribulation, indeed by persecution.
I’m hoping the smaller more faithful Church will come about because abortion will be treated by the bishops as what they say it is.
Perhaps not. However, I will bet that it is mostly tied to liberalism in the Church. Someone once told me that you can fall off the Barque of Peter from either the left side or the right side. I agreed with him, but maintained that the rails are shorter on the left, and thus it is easier to fall from that side!!
I don't see it as an attack on Christianity and certainly not an attack on Christian morality. The things that are being revealed and attacked are not Christian morality at all.
I'm surprised that Europe didn't reveal these things when the U.S. dealt with it's Catholic abuse coverup charges a few year back.
This is a downside of having a top down hierarchy with insufficient independent checks and balances. The abuse not only continued but was covered up. It's also possibly a fault of the previous pope, who I understand was reluctant to hear and try charges of abuse for fear that they were trumped up charges.
Protestant churches do deal with some of the same stuff. But because at least some of us are more democratic we have better checks and balances and can stop and address abuse quickly. The downside is that since we don't have an hierarchy there is no formal process that I'm aware of to alert other churches. That means there is no cover-up, but no protection to keep the abuser from preventing the same thing in another church. Provided of course he doesn't try to use the previous church as a reference.
I don't think we get quite as much of the same type for a couple of reasons. I suspect, we are more outspoken against homosexuality, which drives at least some intending to act on those impulses away. Our pastors are allowed to marry, and therefore aren't as tempted. But they are by no means temptation free.
That's my opinion....DannyTN, Southern Baptist.
What a coincidence. Only yesterday I read the following article from the Associated Baptist Press.
Perhaps you didn’t notice that this is a Catholic Caucus thread.
I have mixed feeling about the national registry. I think we probably should have done it.
But what are the chances a church that didn't prosecute is going to report an individual to the registry? It seems to me that placing a person on the registry without first filing legal charges, opens a church to lawsuits. The churches need to prosecute.
A registry could collect other issues such as admissions of homosexuality or extramarital affairs. Our local Baptist church has dealt with both in recent years. An adult youth leader resigned because of an extra-marital fling that occurred on a youth trip no less. Fortunately it wasn't with one of our youths. And a church administrator resigned and admitted he was a homosexual, but not before causing a lot of discord in the church. Which really the church should have recognized and dealt with earlier. But in these matters you have to walk a careful legal line.
I wonder if a registry would prevent churches from doing the justice system search? I wonder how many churches do a justice system search anyway? I bet few do. So a registry might get used more.
I noticed, that's why I put my affiliation at the bottom of my post.
I don't think I've posted anything particularly anti-catholic, either. Unless you think my suspicion that the catholic hierarchy has insufficient checks and balances is anti-catholic. But then I'd say the current crisis would support my assertion. And that assertion was a constructive criticism to my Catholic brothers in Christ to build them up and make sure there is proper accountability within their church as scripture requires.
Why? Can I not post at all on a Catholic caucus as a Southern Baptist?
Under the zero tolerance policy adopted by the Catholic Church in the US, ANYONE who comes in contact with children - be it at a school, in church, afterschool program, camp, etc. - must be undergo a background check that includes fingerprinting. I am in a small parish with a few children in our rel ed program. It is already a challenge to get volunteers to teach, even more so when it entails both a background check and 2 day video seminar.
What frustrates Catholics more than anything else, is the constant attack on our Church. George Weigel wrote an excellent Opinion piece for The Statesman. In it, he notes:
In the United States alone, there are reportedly tens of millions of victims of childhood sexual abuse. In the years between 1991 and 2000, according to Virginia Commonwealth University researcher Charol Shakeshaft, 290,000 students were sexually abused in American public schools. Worse yet, studies indicate that 40 percent to 60 percent of sexual abuse takes place within families often at the hands of second husbands or live-in boyfriends.
If the media is sincerely aghast at childhood sex abuse, then they certainly have their work cut out for them. I'm not holding my breath, though.
I know that's frustrating.
Oh and I left out that you get attacked because much of the MSM medial is leftist and gay and vehemently anti-Christian. People are coming to realize that though, and starting to consider the source, so there is hope.
“...She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendour...”
40 years on, this is now obvious in Europe and much of the USA.
One other point - God will favor other peoples and places. We in the West have “dropped the ball.”
For example, I have visited Churches in Vietnam. One convent I visited recently built a new Church - and on Sundays it is standing-room-only and over-flowing to their courtyard - 700-800 people go to Mass at one time.
The Eurotrash in Rome and the Post-Vat II Bishops brought this all on themselves, and the laity should have been forming virtual lynch mobs instead of rushing to defend clerics and bishops who were exposed by the secular authorities to be involved in acts of perversion.
Cleansing is indeed going on in the Church, but it will take another 20-30 years until the "pipes are clean and operational."
I can see that NYer is OK with it, so I may have been out of line. In which case, overlook my post.
It actually does happen occasionally that people who have an “attitude” about Catholicism come on a Catholic caucus thread.
Hopefully this won’t be an opportunity to take nuanced pokes at the Church. I think that faithful and informed Catholics are already painfully aware that the “checks and balances” that were in place at one time weren’t getting the job done right.
However, I also think that this obviously terrible problem is now being addressed as stringently as possible and that there hasbeen/is almost an over-kill about this subject on these threads.
“Can’t I post at all on a Catholic Caucus as a Southern Baptist?”
I guess you can. It’s happening. :-)
>>”Kool Aid Catholics” look even worse. <<
Get over yourself. I’m offended by it.
But I didn’t drink any Kool-aid, yet I understand from working Psych that all but a few of these Bishops listened to the “experts” at the time who said these priests could be “cured”. A bit of time in therapy, a change of scenery and all would be right as rain.
Sorry, blaming the Bishops for this is only through the lens of modern psychology. Blame the “experts” who were SO wrong, it wasn’t funny. They sent, not only sick priests but sick teachers, sick daycare workers right back into the candy store.
No you may not.
Ah, then I apologize and won't reply to this thread further.
In that case, why is Clemenza here then?
He refers to himself a “non-believer” and a “secular humanist”.
Saint John Eudes said that when God is angry with His people, He sends them bad priests as a chastisement.
Here is what he wrote in his book, The Priest, His Dignity and Obligations:
The most evident mark of Gods anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than charity and affection of devoted shepherds ...
When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, Return O ye revolting children ... and I will give you pastors according to My own heart. (Jer. 3:14,15) Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.4
Saint John Eudes warns us that as punishment for mans sins, God will send us priests who are not according to His own heart, who have a different spirit from that of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, who have a different heart from that of Our Ladys Immaculate Heart.
Good Catholics get what they pray for.
Catholics who are indifferent, CINO, and fallen away, get what they desire, AS A PUNISHMENT. We have bad clergy today because that is what the majority of baptized Catholics wanted. They wanted priest that act like any lax Catholic layman, that are birth control, no confession, no rosaries, you are all good and going to heaven priests. That is what they got! A CHATISEMENT from God.
And that begins with bad bishops. Thanks for the post and ping. I needed just that tonight.
It’s okay ... Danny can post on this thread. Thank you, Danny, for the insights and the conversation.
I like that!
I’m very much of the opinion that we are in the tail end of the “purging”, if you will. Those of us who are left are the more devout. Just being around my high school class tells that story. I’d say maybe a quarter of us are actually faithful, if that many.
Th Church is not as “top down” as you think. The papacy itself was developed as the result of a push from below, as the major survivor of the “great” patriarchies of the Roman world, as the rest were submerged by first a German and then a rising Muslim sea. In the West, Rome served as a focus for the evangelization of the Germans, as Constantinople was for the evangelization of the Rus and other Slavs in the east. At times Rome itself was almost submerged by barbarism by survived in large part by its union with the monastic orders. other bishops as often as not under the thumbs of the nobility. Rome rose with the re-emerge of civilization but had to contest the kings and the emperor for control. At its height, the medieval papacy was the virtual head of Europe, but during the “Babylonian Captivity” of the popes in Avignon, when it reached the peak of bureaucratic efficiency. it lost its spiritual edge. It had led the Crusades but they had failed, and as the Turkish menace increased, its failure to mount another ended with the papacy immersed in petty Italian politics, more concerned about its land and the building of memorial churches than its spiritual mission. The Reformation stripped away even the support of half the people and princes of Europe, and even the “Catholic” one tended to treat the pope as more a figure head than one to be heeded. There was a Catholic Reformation, but the end of corruption was accompanied by horrific wars that discredited Christianity
itself in the eyes of many of the educated. The Scientific Revolution gave rise to a new view of the world known as the Enlightenment, which looked upon the papacy as a bastion of superstition. As a consequence, the French revolutionaries saw it as no more than just another medieval survival to be overthrown. Napoleon’s defeat found the papacy more in control of the local churches than before, but it was not until after Vatican I, and the end of the papacy as a territorial sovereign that the pope began to gain administrative control of the whole Church. Even today, the papacy seems more powerful than it is. Vatican II weakened the pope’s hold on the Church in many ways. Religious orders such as the Society of Jesus are in virtual rebellion.
Without the pope's approval and cooperation, nothing new moves, - no Vatican II, no new mass, no admittance of effeminate men into the clergy, no Catholic Pentecostalism and other non-Catholic practices, no ad-libbed changes (mass facing the people, biased ideology incorporated into vernacular translations of mass, communion in the hand,etc)
Of course not. Paul VI was the most liberal pope we have ever had. Like Louis XVI, he was a major player in his own tragedy. But we must take care in assigning blame. Look at the rejection of Humanae Vitae by virtually the whole Western Church. Look at the spread of liberation theology, the sudden collapse of traditionalist church such as in Quebec. At bottom, it was the victory of modernism.
The people get the popes that they desire.
If you think that Benedict is a “progressive,” then you and I do not share the same meaning of the term. To me the progressive is someone for whom politics is the end and religion is the means, someone like Father Pfleger, or Mrs. Steinfels, the editor of Commonweal.
No,they don’t. They get the popes that God provides.
That goes without saying.
My point is also valid, as God provides the popes that the people desire. If they are prayerful, faithful, living the faith, Catholics, God provides like kind popes. If Catholics are like our times, CINO, contracepting, divorcing, annulments, no confessions, watching Desperate Housewives in their death bed, "Catholics", as the majority of Catholics are today, God sends them clergy that let them do as they want and even legitimize the people such behavior.
St. Pius X qualified Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies. To call someone a Modernist is to qualify him as a pernicious heretic.
Progressivism is even worse than Modernism, since it took Modernism to further consequences than were possible at the beginning of the 20th century.
I'm not using the common language, which qualify the liberal or the leftist as progressive. I use Progressivism, progressivist to refer to a particular school of thought inside the Catholic Church, which follows the same errors of Modernism surpassing this heresy in its broader and deeper consequences.
Benedict XVI was a progressivist periti at Vatican II along with Karl Rahner. He has never to this day written anything that hints of his having erred in his “past” beliefs.
There are worse progressivists than Benedict XVI, and scarcely any Catholic clergy that are not infected by progressivism, therefore, B16 might “appear” to be orthodox,, compared to say the likes of Card. Mahoney of LA.
A Catholic has to compare popes with all the past popes, and clergy with all the past clergy. B16 compared to Pius IX, Leo XII, Pius X, is what he truly is, a progressivist, just like Paul VI, and JPII.
I’d sure like to know where you are getting all your “expertise” from.
And as for this broadbrush evaluation of all these popes—is that something that you can source and claim to be true, or is it your own personal opinion?
Also, how can you say with such certainty that Catholics get the pope they desire? From your point of view on this, it would seem that God is not interested or in control of His own Church.
You write that Progessivism is a worse heresy than Modernism, and that a Modernist is a “pernicious heretic”.
So, according to your opinion, Pope Bendict XVI, whom you call a Progressivist, is worse than a Modernist—and is also a “pernicious heretic”.
That’s a stunning condemnation.
What are your credentials for making it?
Newman defined liberalism in religion as “the anti-dogmatic principle,” which is the same as relativism, doubt as to the possibility of the basic claims of Christianity. Modernism incorporates scientism: the belief that all that men really know is through the scientific method. One aspect is the belief that evolution is itself progressive, ala Teilhard. In general terms it is, IMHO, gnosticism.
Have you read Pascendi Domini Gregis, Encyclical of Pius X on the doctrines of modernists?