We could add many more scandals to this list. Truly, Francis appears to thrive on doing all he can to destroy the Church, so a week does not pass without him publicly inflicting harm on the Mystical Body of Christ.
Catholics have a right and duty to resist all of these attacks on the Church, especially because it has now become apparent that Francis and his collaborators have gained considerable power through the silence of those who ought to have defended the immutable truths of the Faith.
Catholics have a right and duty to resist all of these attacks on the Church, especially because it has now become apparent that Francis and his collaborators have gained considerable power through the silence of those who ought to have defended the immutable truths of the Faith. If there was once a reasonable argument that silent endurance of the post-Conciliar evils would eventually win the day, we now have every indication that St. Pius X (like many other saints) was correct when he counseled us to boldly resist evil during his December 13, 1908 beatification of Joan of Arc:
“In our days more than ever the main strength of evil men is the cowardice and weakness of those who are good, and all the backbone of the kingdom of Satan lies in the weakness of Christians. Oh! if I were allowed, as the prophet Zechariah did in spirit, to ask the divine Redeemer: what are these wounds in the middle of your hands? The answer would not be doubtful: these have been given to me in the house of those who loved me; given by my friends, who have done nothing to defend me and who in every meeting have become accomplices of my opponents.”
So we have this duty to defend the Church from the attacks of its enemies. This defense includes firmly rejecting errors and unambiguously affirming the immutable truths of the Faith.
Today it should be beyond question that Bishops, priests, and faithful have every right — and indeed a duty — to practice the Faith in accordance with what the Church has always taught instead of showing false obedience to those who seek to destroy the Mystical Body of Christ.
In addition, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre recognized another important aspect of our resistance: that we cannot allow enemies of the Faith to coerce us to abandon the beliefs and practices of the Church that honor God and lead souls to Heaven. In his Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais quoted the archbishop’s notes from 1983:
“The problem of the situation of the faithful and the present papacy renders obsolete the difficulties of jurisdiction, disobedience, and apostolicity. These notions presuppose a Pope who is Catholic in his faith and in his government [of the Church]."
In 1983, many faithful Catholics might have considered this to be a schismatic attitude that would ultimately harm souls. But Francis has made Archbishop Lefebvre’s holy wisdom much more evident to those who would have disagreed decades ago. Today it should be beyond question that Bishops, priests, and faithful have every right — and indeed a duty — to practice the Faith in accordance with what the Church has always taught instead of showing false obedience to those who seek to destroy the Mystical Body of Christ. To do otherwise is to cooperate with the destruction of the Church, which Archbishop Lefebvre refused to do.
Beyond these questions of resisting the evils emanating from Rome, many faithful Catholics today recognize the profound problems with Francis’s unholy occupation of the papacy and question whether he is even the pope. Here, too, it is worth considering the way in which Archbishop Lefebvre thought about the issue, as he saw it in connection with Paul VI:
“Perhaps one day, in thirty or forty years, a meeting of cardinals gathered together by a future Pope will study and judge the reign of Paul VI, perhaps they will say that there were things that ought to have been clearly obvious to people at the time, statements of the Pope that were totally against Tradition. At the moment, I prefer to consider the man on the chair of Peter as the Pope; and if one day we discover for certain that the Pope was not the Pope, at least I will have done my duty.”
We cannot know with certainty how Archbishop Lefebvre would evaluate Francis — and his determination would not bind our consciences in any case — but surely he would believe that it is “clearly obvious” that Francis has spoken and acted in ways that are “totally against Tradition.” Indeed, at this point, it is becoming difficult to discern any of his public words or deeds that are not “totally against Tradition.” Thus, even among those of us who are not sedevacantist, many would be surprised if the Church did not eventually declare that Francis was not the pope.
We thus have one of the worst villains in human history as the reputed head of God’s Church, which is an unmistakable sign that we have reached a climactic moment in the spiritual battle that involves all mankind.
As important as that question is, though, it pales in comparison with the indisputable reality that God has allowed such an enemy of the Faith to rule the Church as the apparent pope. Paul VI and John Paul II were bad enough, but they look like actual saints compared to Francis. We should pray that Francis converts, but at present he has a legitimate claim to being one of the worst villains not only in the history of the Church but in the history of the world.
He is a man who deliberately twists the Church’s objective and immutable body of beliefs to attack faithful Catholics and serve the anti-Catholic globalist agenda. In any other organization, behavior such as Francis’s from the ostensible leader would be reprehensible, but it would not signal a profoundly unique and disturbing moment in human history. But because God established the Catholic Church to disseminate His truth and grace until the end of time, Francis is almost certainly leading hundreds of millions of souls to hell by distorting the Church’s teaching. We thus have one of the worst villains in human history as the reputed head of God’s Church, which is an unmistakable sign that we have reached a climactic moment in the spiritual battle that involves all mankind.
This reality is one that truly ought to reshape how most Catholics practice the Faith. We can see this both in terms of how we would ordinarily react to crises we experience in our daily lives, and in the way that the Church has talked about how we would need to react in times of extraordinary spiritual crisis, particularly in the context of the messages of Our Lady of Fatima.
In our daily lives, we frequently receive prayer requests from our churches, family, friends, and even strangers. If, for example, we were to receive a message from a friend saying that his mother had been attacked and was in critical condition, we would likely offer abundant prayers and sacrifices for her recovery and salvation. We would do all we could to help, and as Catholics we know that prayer and sacrifice are the most powerful ways we can assist those in need.
Even if we refuse to help the Church with spiritual remedies, how could we ever justify abetting her attackers by obsequious acceptance of their anti-Catholic dictates?
And so if we would readily pray and sacrifice for a friend’s mother, even if we had never met her, how should we respond when Holy Mother Church is being gravely wounded by some of the worst villains in human history? Do we think it is somehow less important when the Church is attacked? Even if we refuse to help the Church with spiritual remedies, how could we ever justify abetting her attackers by obsequious acceptance of their anti-Catholic dictates?
Our omniscient and loving God knows that such considerations will often fail to stir us to action, so He has provided us more direct indications that we must now turn to Him with the desire to give everything to Him. As many have persuasively argued, the popes have not released the full “Third Secret of Fatima,” but it certainly appears that we have entered the crucial period about which the Blessed Virgin Mary warned. In his The Secret Still Hidden, Christopher Ferrara surveyed the testimony of various people who had reliable knowledge about the Third Secret:
- Cardinal Pacelli (future Pius XII), 1931: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. . . I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.”
- Sister Lucia’s Interview with Fr. Fuentes, 1957: “Father, that is why my mission is not to indicate to the world the material punishments which are certain to come if the world does not pray and do penance beforehand. No! My mission is to indicate to everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain obstinate in sin.”
- John Paul II, 1980: “We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ . . . With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed.”
- Cardinal Ratzinger, 1984: ““[T]he things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima itself in its well-known contents. Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for salvation.” [from Antonio Socci’s The Fourth Secret of Fatima]
- Cardinal Oddi, 1990: “The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against apostasy in the Church.”
- Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, 1995: “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church begins at the top.”
- John Paul II, 2000: “The message of Fatima is a call to conversion, alerting humanity to have nothing to do with the ‘dragon’ whose ‘tail sweeps down a third of the starts of Heaven, and cast them to the earth’ (Apoc. 12:4). . . . In her motherly concern, the Blessed Virgin came here to Fatima to ask men and women ‘to stop offending God, who is already very offended.’ It is a mother’s sorrow that compels her to speak; the destiny of her children is at stake.”
Taken altogether, we see two themes that are especially vital to the present time: there will be a great apostasy, which will begin at the top of the Church; and souls are in danger of going to hell if they do not convert. The only remedies offered are prayer (especially the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and penance.
Today we see the great apostasy in the Church. Francis’s efforts have led to a demonically insane situation in which he and his followers appear to embrace (and accompany) those with any set of beliefs in the world other than Traditional Catholicism. On its face, even without consideration of the theological implications, this is stunningly evil. When one acknowledges the fact that the set of beliefs espoused by Traditional Catholics is the same that all the saints held throughout the Church’s history, it becomes obvious that God is allowing us to see so clearly that we are in a uniquely catastrophic moment in the history of the Church and world.
Francis’s unholy occupation of the papacy alerts us to the pressing need to turn to God as saints.
As such, turning to God as saints, with prayer, penance, and the rejection of sin, is not simply a pious option that will help us cope with the evil around us. No, it is what God calls us all to do in a special way now. This should not be especially surprising, as it is what God has wanted all souls to do throughout human history — today He is simply making it more clear and urgent than before.
As John Paul II said in 1980, “With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed.” Archbishop Vigano had a similar message at the 2021 Catholic Identity Conference:
“Our duty in this historical moment is to fight the good fight in order to acquire those merits before God that may lead Him to shorten the time of tribulation . . . the outcome of the battle is most certain and inexorable but the duration of the persecution depends on us . . . it depends on our testimony of faith and of courageous defense of truth.”
Francis’s unholy occupation of the papacy alerts us to the pressing need to turn to God as saints. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can see the end of this great crisis and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!
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