Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Antichrist
Do men like Cardinal Kasper not have any sense that at the Head of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church reigns Our Lord Jesus Christ? Can the Body really tell the Head what to think?
The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen's quote springs to mind, as well as the prophecies of Our Lady of La Salette ('the apostasy will start at the top'). Of course I am not suggesting that either Cardinal Kasper or Pope Francis are the Antichrist. No...we all know that's Archbishop Marini...
'The Antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers. He will not wear red tights, nor vomit sulphur, nor carry a trident nor wave an arrowed tail as Mephistopheles in Faust. This masquerade has helped the Devil convince men that he does not exist. When no man recognizes, the more power he exercises. God has defined Himself as "I am Who am," and the Devil as "I am who am not."
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture do we find warrant for the popular myth of the Devil as a buffoon who is dressed like the first "red." Rather is he described as an angel fallen from heaven, as "the Prince of this world," whose business it is to tell us that there is no other world. His logic is simple: if there is no heaven there is no hell; if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgment then evil is good and good is evil. But above all these descriptions, Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect--and certainly no devil ever seen in picture books could deceive even the elect. How will he come in this new age to win followers to his religion?
The pre-Communist Russian belief is that he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. . . The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion--one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God's.
In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . .
. . . But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra from Moscow on the subject of economics and politics, and as chief shepherd of world communism.'
It seems we are entering a time of the Church in which her 'divine content' is seen as a threat to peace, fraternity and the joy of the Gospel. The irony is that for someone like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the liturgy of the Church was about pointing us towards Heaven - leading us Heavenward, towards Christ, our God. The holy doctrines of the Church, in which the faithful met certainty of truth, too, point us Heavenward, towards Christ, our God. Without truth and worship, we men and women are surely rudderless, wounded by error and inflicted with grievous doubts as to the Image of Jesus Christ, how to live our lives as Christians and how to look beyond this World to the glory of the World to come. Poor, simple liturgy with a humility that is manufactured and contrived by man obscures the true Image and Face of Jesus, detracts from the Holy and is unable to lift us away from preoccupations with this World and lead us Heavenward.
rush to speak to the Church and the World on such issues as world hunger, but how shy these same prelates are to speak and lend their mighty weight and huge spiritual influence to the fight to safeguard the lives of the defenseless unborn and to campaign to defend true and real marriage from its manifest perversions in the modern era. These are issues that threaten man and civilization, as well as man's Salvation.
My great concern at the moment, as a 'loyal son of the Church', is not just the fear that I am witnessing the foundations of Holy Mother Church being pulled down by even well-intentioned prelates who desire to cure a wounded Church by force or coercion, but that if the Antichrist appeared in these days, these same prelates would flock to him because they fail so often to point us to the World to come, to the glory and beauty that is Jesus Christ, Who is Truth and Charity. The Antichrist will promise wonderful things but not lead anyone to Salvation, but all to destruction - eternal destruction, but for those who resist.
We cannot be indifferent to the basic needs of our neighbour, but neither can we be indifferent to Jesus Christ, nor can we be indifferent to doctrine and pretend that truth has no value or significance for us as men and women. The bitter irony is that while those who seek to defend both holy doctrine and holy liturgy are disregarded as 'obsessives', that it appears those who govern in Rome, more and more, make of those who defend them outcasts, lepers and attempt to use force to impose their vision of the Church upon them, even to the point of removing from them that which it is licit and lawful to do.
|Jesus came so that we may worship God in time and eternity|
The more those who govern the Church of Rome seek to please man or to offer mankind something other than Salvation, the more vulnerable the Church will be when the 'son of perdition' is revealed. It may well be that this does not happen in our age, but it has to be said, that we live in an age in which the Church is perhaps more vulnerable to the lies and deceits of such a man, than at any time in Her history.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Whose birthday we will celebrate at Christmas was born into time and space to take us into eternity with Him. Eternity is, by all measurements, a very long time. The sorrows of this world, truly sad as they are, will one day cease to be. If we are faithful to Jesus Christ, He has promised us eternity with Him. When the Church emphasises earthly matters and fails to point us towards eternity with the Most Holy Trinity, even to the point of contemplating the rejection of God's Divine Laws for human pleasure and respect, we can be sure that not only is the Evil One working to make a mockery of God in His Holy Temple, but so, too, does he make a mockery of mankind, since he works only to derail Christian worship, our Salvation and the eternal happiness with God promised to the Faithful that can indeed be prevented, if Truth is neglected.
May Our Lady of Good Success pray for the Pope, for the whole Church and in particular, for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, their tertiaries and all who hold them in high esteem for their zeal for souls and love of the Christ and His Church.