The forces of darkness in this world have declared war—a war that attempts to extinguish the light of faith within the Roman Catholic Church.
This is not a war of our choosing. Nevertheless, it is a war in which the Church must rally every facet and weapon at her disposal. It may be the start of the famed battle foretold in Revelations, or it may be another attack from the forces of evil in the world designed to wound the faith. But it is a war. And it must be fought, and it will be won.
Commentators throughout the blogosphere have been crying out a warning since the creation of the virtual world—but it has been a warning that has been too long ignored. Most decision and opinion makers within the Church have thought these cries to be the clucking of nothing more than modern manifestation of Chicken Little. Sadly, just as the forces of liberty and faith were taken by surprise by at Pearl Harbor and in Jerusalem in 1967, so too have the leaders of the Church failed to heed the warnings of those who have been arguing that the Church was in peril. Now the evidence should seem clear to all that it is time to awake and rouse ourselves to the ramparts as we begin to engage in the battle for our souls.
Such militaristic and violent language is offensive to many, both within and outside the Church. Faith instinctively guides us to follow Christ, the Prince of Peace. The voice that calls for 'proposition not imposition' seems to be incompatible with this call to arms, but it is not. Remember too that Christ said that he did not come to bring peace, but division—that two will be divided against three and three against two, father against son and mother against daughter. It is true that Christ’s victory over death—his passion and resurrection—assures us the ultimate victory of Good over Evil, but never did he promise smooth sailing for the Barque of Peter.
Evil still roams and menaces the faith in this life. Trial and tribulation marked not only the Church's birth but also are to arise prior to the Messiah's return. With the passing of legislation in the USA that will result in federal funding for elective abortions, the forces of death have won a considerable victory. In the face of this victory by the forces of death, the scandals which have erupted within and around the Church have discouraged and disorganized her exactly when her forces need to be marshaled to face the coming persecution and opposition on a global scale as has not been experienced since the days of the earliest Church martyrs at the hands of the Roman Empire.
It is a great irony that this grievous wound has been struck against the Catholic faith from within a nation that saved Christianity after the dark ages. The sinful witness of a few Irish priests and bishops stands in putrid contrast to the heroic witness of Saints Bridget, Brendan, and Patrick. It brings into disrepute the tireless efforts and sacrifices of pious Irish women and men who were among the first to bring the Catholic Church to America—sacrifices now viscerally polluted in the public eye by the infidelity and sinfulness of their spiritual and ethnic progeny. These criminal and sinful acts served to vitiate the voice of the Bishops and fracture of the Catholic community in that crucial American debate which will result in the wholesale slaughter—by the state—of millions of unborn souls. A 'fifth column' of predator priests, compromised religious, and weak-kneed bishops, (concerned more with their reputation and influence than with ensuring fidelity and justice) have effected a body-blow to the faith, unparalleled in modern history, striking at the Chair of Peter and into the center of the Christian world's preeminent political and military power in Washington, DC.
C.S. Lewis could not have scripted a storyline more chilling than is being experienced within the Catholic community today.
The Irish do not stand alone in suffering this fate, but it has been the tinder that has lit the fires which burn now across the entirety of Christendom. Media outlets are replete with the disclosures of utter evil with every day that passes. This does seem to justify a certain sense of indignation as antagonists for simply being the vehicles of bad news 'from the front'. Alas, the Church has been shot by a weapon of its own making, fired from within its own ranks. To quote an old pastor, "an enemy has done this, even if the wound was self-inflicted." Blaming the media will not be a successful strategy in winning back the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens of both the earthly and heavenly kingdoms.
Mind you, there are numerous examples where the media use this shot to the Body of Christ to great malicious advantage. While pro-life, Christian politicians argued during Sunday’s health-care debate on CNN, allegations challenging the Church's sanctity and truthfulness crawled unceasingly across the news-ticker at the bottom of the screen—an omnipresent challenge to the voices of the US Bishops and the political coalition of the forces of life. The Times of London even published an article declaring the pontiff's Pastoral Letter to the people of Ireland an abject failure, rejected across the land, eight hours in advance of the letter's release. The condemnatory comments it contained from some involved in the 'victims rights' movement clearly demonstrate that they were not open to any initiative of the Church. Reconciliation and healing is not their agenda. Their true goal is the utter destruction of the Petrine Office and the Body of Christ gathered in communion with him. In this spiritual and cultural conflict, we neglect this truth at our own peril.
Pope Benedict has recognized the danger. He has called the Irish to lead the universal Church in rediscovering the use of such spiritual weapons as prayer, fasting, and penance to strengthen the forces of faith, hope and charity—practices foreign to those malformed by the catechetical failures that followed in the immediate wake of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul the Great understood this urgent need for penance—a responsibility he literally took upon his back with the practice of self-flagellation. Now is the time for all Catholics, inspired by their examples, to defend the faith in every way possible.
There is a time to heed the call of the Spirit and progress in theology and our understanding of the divine will. Now is not that time. Not when the enemy is inside the walls of the Church. Not when the 'Barque of Peter' has been holed below the waterline. Now is the time for Catholic leaders to sound the ‘klaxons’ and call all hands to 'battle stations'. Now is the time to deploy every spiritual weapon at our disposal to fight the righteous fight for the faith.
Now is the time to stand with Peter.
It is time to take up arms and stand with Christ—to take up both the cross and sword to defend the faith.
It is time for the Church to declare war.
About Fr. Tim
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