Eclipse of the Church: 1958 and Beyond Part One|
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God." 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4
"What we see here again is that the Pope himself has realized that there is a plan to overthrow the papacy, to infiltrate it, to wreck it, so that the faithful might be scattered because they are without a Supreme Shepherd! Again, this does not come from a nameless, raving lunatic who sees conspiracies under every stone, but from the Holy Father himself, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Bishop of the Church!"
Most people are probably not aware of this, but in 1915, the Holy Office under Pope Benedict XV forbade all speculation and discussion of the purported contents of the messages of Our Lady of La Salette:
THE SUPREME SACRED CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY OFFICE
CONCERNING THE COMMONLY CALLED
"SECRET OF LA SALETTE."
It has come to the attention of this Supreme Congregation that certain ones are not lacking, even from among the ecclesiastic assemblage who, responses and decisions of this Holy Congregation itself having been disregarded, do proceed to discuss and examine through books, small works and articles edited in periodicals, whether signed or without a name, concerning the so-called Secret of La Salette, its diverse forms and its relevance to present and future times; and, this not only without permission of the Ordinaries, but, also against their ban.
[Adapted from http://members.lycos.co.uk/jloughnan/sal_decr.htm]
So that these abuses which oppose true piety and greatly wound ecclesiastical authority might be curbed, the same Sacred Congregation orders all the faithful of any region not to discuss or investigate under any pretext, neither through books, or little works or articles, whether signed or unsigned, or in any other way of any kind, about the mentioned subject. Whoever, indeed, violates this precept of the Holy Office, if they are priests, are deprived of all dignity and suspended by the local ordinary from hearing sacramental confessions and from offering Mass: and, if they are lay people, they are not permitted to the sacraments until they repent.
Moreover, let people be subject to the sanctions given both by Pope Leo XIII through the Constitution of the offices and responsibilities against those who publish books dealing with religious things without legitimate permission of superiors and by Urban VIII through the decree "Sanctissimus Dominus Noster" given on 13th March 1625 against those who publish asserted revelations without the permission of ordinaries. However, this decree does not forbid devotion towards the Blessed Virgin under the title of Reconciliatrix commonly of La Salette.
Given at Rome on 21st December, 1915.
Aloisius Castellano, S. R. and U. I. Notary.
Now, this must obviously be taken very seriously and not just brushed aside. I believe that at the time, this prohibition was quite reasonable and salutary, as there seemed to be no reason to let the faithful be confused and scandalized about an alleged message of Our Lady that mentioned Rome losing the Faith and becoming the Seat of the Antichrist. Any Pope in his right mind would forbid such literature from being disseminated, especially since the authenticity of the message was contested and everything seemed more or less well with the Church. So, no doubt, this decision of the Holy Office is praiseworthy (and far be it from me ever to suggest anything else about what the Holy Office decrees).
Now, I do not wish to scandalize anyone or lead anybody into sin here. I do believe, however-and I have consulted my confessor about this beforehand-that we can apply the Catholic principle of "epikeia" here, which basically says that a law can be disobeyed if circumstances arise that were not foreseen by the legislator and if one can reasonably assume that if the legislator were alive today (or if one had access to the living legislator), he would rescind the law or would not wish the law to bind. Now, as you may have heard, I have become a sedevacantist (This is my personal point of view and not The Daily Catholic's) and I do not know of any Pope alive today. I am very certain, however, that if Pope Benedict XV (or any other Pope before 1958, really) were alive today and could see what had happened to the Church since 1958, he would no doubt rescind the prohibition of speculating about the alleged messages of La Salette,because all of a sudden the purported messages have become very relevant, and the question arises whether they may in fact be all true. And if they are true, then no doubt God wants us to listen to them because there may be pointers in them to help us get through these trying times. All I wish to do here is focus on a very short excerpt of the purported message of La Salette to see if by means of it we can understand what has happened to the Catholic Church since the death of Pope Pius XII.
(It is very important, of course, not to "cling" to alleged apparitions and messages, even those approved by the Church. We must not "seek after" these things or consider them on a par with the Catholic Faith, which is greater than any apparition. At the same time, however, I do not see why Our Blessed Lord would send His holy Mother Mary to us if He did not want us to listen to her and what she has to say. But if you're a "prophecy/apparition" addict, perhaps it's better you not read on.)
Based on this application of epikeia, and in all earnest submission to Holy Mother Church and in keeping the spirit of the law, which always has as its goal the salvation of souls, I wish carefully to proceed now with an analysis of the purported messages from La Salette. No doubt Popes Benedict XV and Pius XI would allow discussion of the alleged La Salette messages today if they were still alive. The same would probably hold true for books discussing the La Salette message that were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Now, the Neo-Catholics better not be complaining about me here because if a true Pope were around to put books on the Index today, John Paul II's writings would have made it there faster than he can say "May St. John the Baptist protect Islam."
According to the words of Melanie Calvat, the Blessed Virgin Mary allegedly said the following at her apparition at La Salette, France, on September 19, 1846:
In the year 1864, Lucifer together with a large number of demons will be unloosed from hell; they will put an end to faith little by little, even in those dedicated to God. . . . Woe to the Princes of the Church who think only of piling riches upon riches to protect their authority and dominate with pride. The Vicar of my Son will suffer a great deal, because for a while the Church will yield to large persecution, a time of darkness, and the Church will witness a frightful crisis. . . . Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. . . . The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay . . . Now is the time; the abyss is opening. Here is the King of Kings of darkness, here is the Beast with his subjects, calling himself the Savior of the world.
[Secrets of La Salette (Asbury, NJ: The 101 Foundation, 1994), pp. 12-18.]
I say these are only the alleged words of the Blessed Mother because of a controversy surrounding the exact contents of the message. Let me explain.
The Blessed Virgin gave a special message, a "secret," to each of the two seers at La Salette, Maximin and Melanie. These two seers did not know each other's messages. In 1851, however, the bishop of the diocese advised both of the seers to send their messages to the Pope, who, at that time, was Pope Pius IX. The Holy Father never made public the contents of the messages, so we do not know exactly what he received. However, in 1879, one year after the death of Pope Pius IX, Melanie published her secret with the approval of the local bishop, and it contains the very text quoted above.
But, as the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia relates:
A lively controversy followed as to whether the secret published in 1879 was identical with that communicated to Pius IX in 1851, or in its second form it was not merely a work of the imagination. The latter was the opinion of wise and prudent persons, who were persuaded that a distinction must be made between the two Mélanies, between the innocent and simple voyante of 1846 and the visionary of 1879, whose mind had been disturbed by reading apocalyptic books and the lives of illuminati.
Now, let me make several comments here. Of course I do not know whether or not what Melanie published in 1879 is exactly what was revealed to her by Our Lady, or if she invented, embellished, or added certain things (I also don't think that anybody would know this except Pope Pius IX, who was, to my knowledge, the only one who received the 1851 version of the secret and was dead by the time Melanie published it for all in 1879). However, I must say that I do not believe that Melanie simply made this up from her imagination, even after reading certain disturbing writings. Perhaps she added some things to it that she read in the apocalyptic literature, as sort of what the Illuminati intended to happen to the Church? Perhaps so; it is possible. However, I think that this would mean Melanie lied about the secret (unless we want to argue that she did not remember correctly), and I see no reason to accuse her of lying. Also, most importantly, the predictions in the purported secret seem to have come true or are on the verge of becoming true.
Why does the Catholic Encyclopedia say that it was the position of "wise and prudent" men that the 1879-published secret was made up? I assume that even in 1914, people still could not possibly believe that what Melanie revealed in her secret could possibly come true. 1914 was the last year of a pontificate of immense holiness, the pontificate of a man who was so holy that he would later be found incorrupt! Of course no one wishes to believe that the Church could become eclipsed, that Rome (under false leadership) would lose the Faith and even become the seat of the Antichrist! This is why I think the Catholic Encyclopedia called those people who disbelieved it "wise and prudent." I would have fully concurred back in the 1910's myself. And again, I do not presume to know the truth here; I am only speculating.
I think we ought to ask ourselves: why would Melanie read apocalyptic books and literature on the Illuminati after 1851? Could it perhaps be precisely because of what Our Lady had told her?? I do not profess to know the answer here - I am just asking. I mean, doesn't it seem likely that if the Blessed Mother told her exactly what the 1879 secret says, that Melanie would read up on those very organizations that have tried to infiltrate the Church with the purpose to undermine and subvert her so that in the end, Rome would lose the Faith? I don't know, but it seems plausible to me.
Now, it may surprise you to learn that there have been Catholic theologians who have identified the Antichrist with a man who unlawfully and invalidly usurps the Holy See, falsely claiming to be Pope. The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes the following from Cardinal Newman's argumentation on the "Papal Antichrist" question brought up by the Protestants:
The defenders of the Papal-Antichrist theory have made several signal blunders in their arguments; they cite St. Bernard as identifying the Beast of the Apocalypse with the Pope, though St. Bernard speaks in the passage of the Antipope; they appeal to the Abbot Joachim as believing that Antichrist will be elevated to the Apostolic See, while the Abbot really believes that Antichrist will overthrow the Pope and usurp his See; finally, they appeal to Pope Gregory the Great as asserting that whoever claims to be Universal Bishop is Antichrist, whereas the great Doctor really speaks of the Forerunner of Antichrist who was, in the language of his day, nothing but a token of an impending great evil.
So, Catholic theology does not condemn the idea that the true Pope will be overthrown and replaced by an impostor, even the Antichrist himself. Therefore, the purported part of Melanie's secret that says "Rome will lose the Faith and become the Seat of the Antichrist" is not contrary to permissible Catholic doctrinal speculation. Note that the secret allegedly says that Rome will lose the Faith, not that the Church will, for this is impossible. If Rome is staffed by apostate usurpers and illegitimate "shepherds," then Rome does not have the Faith; but it does not thereby follow that the Holy See, which can only legitimately be occupied by rightful shepherds, has lost the Faith - and a non-Catholic is not a rightful shepherd.
Let us assume for the moment that the 1879 version of Melanie's secret is true and correct. How could it come about that Rome would lose the Faith? Who are the greatest enemies of the Catholic Church? Anyone familiar with papal encyclicals in the 19th century knows that they are the Freemasons.
So let's start at the beginning. The first systematic blueprint to destroy the Catholic Church outlined by the Freemasons known to me is a collection of papers known as the Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, spanning from 1820 to 1846 (interestingly enough, 1846 is the year of the Church-approved apparition at La Salette). Author John Vennari says the following about these papers and their release:
They were published at the request of Pope Pius IX by Cretineau-Joly in his work The Roman Church and Revolution.
With the brief of approbation of February 25, 1861, which he addressed to the author, Pope Pius IX guaranteed the authenticity of these documents, but he did not allow anyone to divulge the true members of the Alta Vendita implicated in this correspondence.
[John Vennari, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita: A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1999), p. 5.]
If you do not yet have a copy of this little booklet by John Vennari, it is absolutely imperative that you get one or several (to give to others). You can order one here:
What does the Permanent Instruction say? What has been the Masons' plan? In a nutshell, they have wanted to infiltrate the Church by going to the children, to the youth, and to the seminaries, to spread their evil doctrines and shape a Pope to their liking:
What we must ask for, what we should look for and wait for, as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs . . .
Now then, to assure ourselves a Pope of the required dimensions, it is a question first of shaping for this Pope a generation worthy of the reign we are dreaming of. Leave old people and those of a mature age aside; go to the youth, and if it is possible, even to the children. . . . You will contrive for yourselves, at little cost, a reputation as good Catholics and pure patriots.
This reputation will put access to our doctrines into the midst of the young clergy, as well as deeply into the monasteries. In a few years, by the force of things, this young clergy will have overrun all the functions; they will form the sovereign's council, they will be called to choose a Pontiff who should reign. And this Pontiff, like most of his contemporaries, will be necessarily more or less imbued with the Italian and humanitarian principles that we are going to begin to put into circulation. It is a small grain of black mustard that we are entrusting to the ground; but the sunshine of justice will develop it up to the highest power, and you will see one day what a rich harvest this small seed will produce.
[John Vennari, Permanent Instruction, pp. 7-9.]
So, folks, this has been known. The plan was exposed by Pope Pius IX. This isn't silly conspiracy-freak stuff that has no basis in reality. This plan is real and it has been made known by the Holy Father himself. His immediate successor, Pope Leo XIII, called on all the Catholic bishops of the world to "tear away the mask from Freemasonry, and . . . let it be seen as it really is; and by sermons and pastoral letters . . . instruct the people as to the artifices used by societies of this kind in seducing men and enticing them into their ranks, and as to the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their acts" (Encyclical Humanum Genus, 1884, par. 31).
In the same encyclical, Pope Leo gets very specific:
But against the apostolic see and the Roman Pontiff the contention of these enemies has been for a long time directed. The Pontiff was first, for specious reasons, thrust out from the bulwark of his liberty and of his right, the civil princedom; soon, he was unjustly driven into a condition which was unbearable because of the difficulties raised on all sides; and now the time has come when the partisans of the sects openly declare, what in secret among themselves they have for a long time plotted, that the sacred power of the Pontiffs must be abolished, and that the papacy itself, founded by divine right, must be utterly destroyed. If other proofs were wanting, this fact would be sufficiently disclosed by the testimony of men well informed, of whom some at other times, and others again recently, have declared it to be true of the Freemasons that they especially desire to assail the Church with irreconcilable hostility, and that they will never rest until they have destroyed whatever the supreme Pontiffs have established for the sake of religion.
Of course, if we listen to the Neo-Catholics, we find that Freemasonry practically hasn't existed anymore, or at least has not been a danger to Catholicism, since…oh, just about 1958!
But let me return to Pope Leo XIII. He was privileged one day to receive a vision, a vision which resulted in the composition of the famous St. Michael Prayer, of which most people only know the short version. The story behind this prayer is most interesting, most scary, and most important for our times. Though I do not know how to verify the following account, here's what allegedly happened:
On September 25, 1888, following his morning Mass, Pope Leo XIII became traumatized to the point that he collapsed. Those in attendance thought that he was dead. After coming to consciousness, the Pope described a frightful conversation that he had heard coming from near the tabernacle. The conversation consisted of two voices - voices which Pope Leo XIII clearly understood to be the voices of Jesus Christ and the devil. The devil boasted that he could destroy the Church, if he were granted 75 years to carry out his plan (or 100 years, according to some accounts). The devil also asked permission for "a greater influence over those who will give themselves to my service." To the devil's requests, Our Lord reportedly replied: "you will be given the time and the power." Shaken deeply by what he had heard, Pope Leo XIII composed the following original Prayer to St. Michael . . . and ordered it to be recited after all Low Masses as a protection for the Church against the attacks from Hell. What follows is the original prayer. . . . The Original Prayer was taken from The Raccolta, 1930, Benzinger Bros., pp. 314-315. The Raccolta is an imprimatured collection of the official and indulgenced prayers of the Catholic Church.
So let us look now at this prayer, which I beg every Catholic to recite daily. Note in particular the bolded portions:
O Glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.
Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven.
That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.
These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and Patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
What we see here again is that the Pope himself has realized that there is a plan to overthrow the papacy, to infiltrate it, to wreck it, so that the faithful might be scattered because they are without a Supreme Shepherd! Again, this does not come from a nameless, raving lunatic who sees conspiracies under every stone, but from the Holy Father himself, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Bishop of the Church!
The Papacy has been set up in the Holy Place, but the infiltrators want to overthrow it to set up their own abomination. This reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God."
No doubt, this passage refers to the man of sin, the son of perdition, putting himself in the Vatican! And does this not once again sound like the alleged message of La Salette?
But let me continue chronologically. Next, let us look at the inaugural encyclical of Pope Saint Pius X, E Supremi, dated October 4, 1903, mere months after the death of Pope Leo XIII:
When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the "Son of Perdition" of whom the Apostle speaks (II. Thess. ii., 3). Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the Divinity! While, on the other hand, and this according to the same apostle is the distinguishing mark of Antichrist, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such wise that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has condemned God's majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored. "He sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God" (II. Thess. ii., 4).
The Holy Father quotes the same passage of St. Paul, though he interprets the "temple of God" to be the entire universe, which, of course, it is in a sense. However, I think that Pope Leo's position that it refers to the Vatican is more correct. We will no doubt find out in due time. Either way, both Popes were quite aware of what was going on underground, and they warned the faithful and tried to put stops to the assault on the Church.
Pope Pius X died in 1914 just after the beginning of World War I. Three years later, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XV, Our Lady came once more to our aid - in Fatima!
I do not think I need to repeat the messages of Fatima here, assuming that every reader is familiar with them. The Blessed Virgin showed the little children a vision of hell and she warned that if men did not reform their lives and do penance, another great war would break out during the pontificate of a Pope who would take the name "Pius XI." Needless to say, this is exactly what happened. However, to this day we still do not know the exact contents of what has come to be known as the "Third Secret." No doubt, this very secret message predicted the takeover of the Church by the modernists, liberals, masons, and communists - in short, what is probably the Great Apostasy. No wonder it took Sister Lucia, the only surviving seer, several attempts and another intervention by the Blessed Mother to write it down.
The Third Secret was eventually given to Pope Pius XII, who, alas!, did not read it but probably preferred to wait until 1960, the latest time at which it was to be revealed. But of course the dear Holy Father did not live to see 1960. He died in the morning hours of October 9, 1958.
Over two weeks later, the first round of balloting began to elect a successor to Pope Pius XII. This is where it's getting really scary. And this is where I'll pick up in my next installment Part Two of Two.
For past columns by Mario Derksen, see Archives for www.DailyCatholic.org/2004mdi.htm