My how things have changed in the course of fifty years!
Take, for instance, the fictional figure of Batman as
portrayed by Hollywood, who went from a comic crime
fighter in the 1960’s to the Dark Knight in the third
The original Batman television show was a silly,
campy adaptation of the comic book series. In the one
hundred twenty episodes produced, only three villains
were ever killed, and never with blood and gore.
Instead, fight scenes were enhanced with visual sound
effects that flashed across the screen, such as Bam,
Zap, and Ouch!
Batman and Robin were ever polite and always law
abiding, even to the point of the absurd. While racing
to a crime, for example, they would sometimes stop to
assist pedestrians in crosswalks and upon arriving
they’d often take time to put coins in parking meters.
While scaling walls of high-rise buildings they
conversed with citizens who poked their heads out
windows, including stars such as Art Linkletter and
The young, excitable side-kick Robin used the adjective
Holy more frequently than a Novus Ordo
sacrament. The TV series may have inspired a few
chuckles but never acts of violence.
The same cannot be said of the more recent Batman-theme
movies produced by Hollywood. In order to critique the
third millennium Batman, I obtained a copy of the 2008
movie, The Dark Knight. I chose this earlier
movie rather than the newly released film for two
reasons: watching Batman movies in theaters can be
lethal (now to the body and not just the soul), and the
chief villain from the earlier film, The Joker,
appears to be the inspiration behind the recent Colorado
movie theater massacre by a madman. In fact, the violent
connection between these two jokers is as readily
apparent as a red nose on a clown. But please, take my
word for it and avoid this movie. This is the darkest
PG-13 rated film I have ever seen, and it lives up to
The great confessor Saint John Vianney warned mothers
that if they allowed their daughters to attend local
dances in France, they would dance with their children
in hell. Imagine what he would say about parents who
knowingly bring their children to view dark movies like,
The Dark Knight.
is a psychotic sociopath clown with absolutely no
conscience, who brags that he prefers to kill his
victims slowly with a knife, so that he can uncover
their character. In one scene he blows up an entire
hospital filled with the innocent sick and suffering,
while he looks on and laughs.
His greatest triumph is to utterly corrupt the most
righteous citizen of Gotham City, turning him so evil
that he would murder a child while the family looks on.
It is known that the actor who played The Joker
suffered from insomnia and depression throughout the
filming and he died shortly after from a drug overdose.
Saint Paul tells us to put on the mind of Christ;
perhaps this actor put on the mind of the devil.
But this reflection is not so much about Batman as it is
about the increase of evil all around us these days. It
is said that the random sort of shooting that we saw in
Colorado started in the sixties. That would not surprise
a Catholic traditionalist, who cringes at the mere
mention of those troublesome sixties, which decade
opened wide a window to the smoke of Satan. As
they say, where there is smoke there is fire, and
the fires of hell are now heating up the Earth big-time,
much more than a world-wide warming from a depleted
Who is to blame for this spiritual global warming?
Hollywood and other corrupt secular elements, to be
sure; but also—and in large part—the institutional
Church is to blame. How so?
A commission of Christ to the Church is to sanctify the
faithful, and, by extension, the nations, through the
preaching of the Gospel. But just when the faithful and
the world needed the protection of sanctification the
most, the institutional Church set aside its spiritual
weapons and opened a window into hell. Despite warnings
from Heaven, in mystical visions, locutions and
apparitions to popes and peasants, that Satan would
assault the Church in the twentieth century in a manner
akin to the attack upon Job, the guard was let down.
A military tribunal would judge this as dereliction of
As the twentieth century approached, Pope Leo XIII was
so terrified by the mystical vision he had of Satan
being granted one hundred years to attack the Church
that he turned ashen white and directed that the
powerful Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel should be
recited by the clergy and faithful at the end of every
That protective practice was suppressed, however, by the
institutional Church in 1964. Why?
The Mass itself and the sacraments of the Church, for
that matter, were also radically reformed and stripped
of the words and weapons against the Evil One.
The multiple exorcisms of baptism were abandoned.
The minor order of exorcist was suppressed and the rite
of exorcism itself was replaced with an impotent ritual
that experienced exorcists refused to use.
The Roman Ritual was replaced with a Book of
Blessings, which in reality contained no sacramental
blessings at all.
We can add to this litany the failure of any pope to
fulfill the mandate to consecrate Russia to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
So too, the rosary was lengthened with new mysteries,
while the Fatima prayer was dropped.
It is no wonder that so many Catholics no longer believe
in hell or the existence of Satan. Their disbelief in
the praeternatural realm and activity confirms the
validity of the ancient principle, lex orandi, lex
credendi (the law of praying is the law of
Some have awakened and now smell the smoke. A handful of
bishops and many more pastors have reinstituted the
Prayer to St. Michael in their dioceses and parishes.
Disillusioned Novus Ordo refuges are seeking out
the Mass and sacraments in the traditional form.
Will there be a widespread call to arms for spiritual
warfare or is it a remnant preparing for persecution?
Time will tell and quite soon, for just as The Joker
unleashed mayhem upon Gotham City, so it seems that the
full fury of hell is about to be unleashed upon the