Why is there almost nothing said in this book about the various visions and apparitions which talk about this, or the new apparitions?
There are a number of subjects which I have deliberately avoided in this book, apparitions being one of them. Fatima, for example, and particularly the mysterious and unknown, yet perennially famous "Third Secret" may very well indeed be all about the "current crisis in the Church," but the "current crisis in the Church" is not about Fatima. So much has been written about Fatima by people who know so much more about it than I do that there is nothing I could add to it. Since private revelations, no matter how accurate some of them have proven to be, are not binding on the Faithful, I cannot in good conscience base my book on any of them. For the sake of argument, suppose that by some bad fortune, the "Third Secret" were to be one day revealed to be something way out in left field, and Fatima thereby discredited, what would become of every "Catholic" book which is based on it? Not that I seriously believe that could ever happen, but can one afford to be so careless when trying to understand the current crisis in the Church? In point of fact, I am actually quite impressed with some of the better known private revelations, including Fatima, and hope that the reader may indeed take some time to become more familiar with them.
The new apparitions, such as Medjugorje, are an entirely different ball of worms. Only one of these (Betania) has ever been approved, and that only by the questionable Post-Catholic Vatican Hierarchy. Some of them (such as Bayside) have been so far off base as to be disapproved even by the current Vatican Hierarchy (and rightly so). Since all of these say really off the wall things and/or deny obvious truths regarding morals, doctrine, or even the current status of the Church, they really prove to be of little use except as examples of human or even demonic inventions. Furthermore, visionaries tend to be sources of division as different Catholics are unable to agree on which visionaries to trust. Unity will be achieved in the Church only by fixating on the Universal and Historic Magisterium of the Church and nothing else because that, unlike Madame So-and-so's latest message from the Blessed Virgin Mary, is something all Catholics are constrained to agree with and adhere to.
Why is there almost nothing is said in this book about the plots of Masons, Jews, and Communists who have infiltrated the Church, nor about the "Three days of Darkness," the "Antichrist," or the "Man of Sin" or other End-time prophecies about what has brought about this current crisis?
The specific nature of the plots of various persons who seem to be members of these or other groups hostile to the Church are not terribly important to me. The Church has always had enemies trying to overthrow it by various means; none of these people have come up with anything new. The real question in my mind is "Why should God now allow the enemies of the Church to have the apparent success they have had at, and since, Vatican II?"
It must be admitted that conspiracies of a sort do in fact exist. There are many powerful figures in the media, in politics, in finance, in industry, and even seemingly lacking all of these things as they quietly function in the seminaries and other official institutions of the Vatican, who work together to try to destroy the Church. However, I find that meditating too long on such things only promotes a paranoid state of mind in which no one and nothing can be trusted, thinking becomes impossible, and one finally becomes immobilized and unable to do anything for the Kingdom of God for fear of falling into the hands of the Enemy.
There have always been conspiracies and there shall always be conspiracies, until the End of the World. Were we Catholics ever to find a truly effective means for rooting all of them out, I suspect that such an effort would only place God Himself in the rather bizarre and awkward position of having to intervene in order to protect His enemies from His friends so as to let Providence take its course. I don't for a moment imagine that would ever happen. Just as the Church is the Body of Christ, conspiracies might be properly spoken of as the "Body of Satan." Each "Body" shall persist in this world for as long as the spirit which moves it is permitted influence here, Jesus forever, and Satan until the End of this World.
Our part is to be that Body of Christ, and to live in a manner which is appropriate for that Body. If we do that and help all others that we can to do the same, we have discharged our entire duties in this earth. We leave it to God to set the times and seasons for the limits on the conspiracies to be expanded or contracted as suits His plan.
For some reason, excessive prophetic speculation seems to have the same deleterious effect on those who engage in it as speculation about conspiratorial plots. In either case, one ends up getting that feeling that one is stumbling about through a dark room littered with dangerous objects to trip over or fall into. No amount of meditating on these things ever seems to turn up the lights in the least.
A somewhat more interesting question is "Why should so many traditional Catholics be so concerned with these plots or prophecies?" Remember that although the Vatican institution was legally separated from the Catholic Church in 1964, virtually no one at the time, or for quite some years after that time realized it. In ignorance of that fact, Catholics simply made an unspoken assumption that the Vatican institution is still identical to the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, with such assumptions rooted in their minds, they have found themselves at a loss to explain how the "Catholic Church" could become so uncatholic, and yet on the other hand what justification could ever be found for obtaining their sacraments outside it.
Even all of the books I recommend in my bibliography were written as if it were the Catholic Church which was doing all of these uncatholic things, when in fact it was merely the Vatican institution and not the Roman Catholic Church at all. The prospect of some pope just waking up some day and saying to himself, "I am sick and tired of always having to teach the truth all the time; I think I'll go teach some heresy today," and being able to get away with it, with no resistance from the cardinals, the bishops, the Holy Spirit, or anyone else, is truly frightening. Considering what horrible and sordid persons some popes in the past have been, one marvels that none of them have ever done such a thing before. Now that we finally seem to have it happen, one has to wonder why "popes" who have such obvious good will should be the first to be able to do this. One instinctively knows that there must be more to this than meets the eye.
In the absence of the knowledge of the separation between the Vatican institution and the Catholic Church, one grasps at straws as they try to explain to themselves what has happened. Either the conspiracies somehow just got dramatically smarter than ever before (which hypothesis leads one to be concerned with the plots of the Masons, the Jews, Communists, or the Illuminati etc.) or else we have entered some special time in prophecy leading up to the End of the World, such as the "Three days of Darkness," the "Final Aposotasy" or the arrival of "The Antichrist" (which hypotheses leads one to be concerned with End-time prophecies), or some combination of the three. The latter two at least leave God in control while the first has it that Satan has just figured out how to outsmart God, at least for the time being.
Now that it is known that the Vatican institution is no longer identical to the Catholic Church, and precisely when and how that legally took place, there really is no need for those other two hypotheses. Their importance can only be expected to decline in the minds of most traditionalist Catholics, excepting only such few who are of a particularly nervous or excitable disposition.
What about the rumor that Cardinal Lienart was a Mason?
Even the significance of this strange rumor is probably lost on most Catholics. However, for the record, the rumor is simply not true. Some years ago, the Angelus offered a considerable sum of money as a reward to anyone who could provide evidence (for example membership rolls of a Masonic lodge, photographs of the Cardinal with other Masons inside the lodge, or wearing distinctive Masonic garments, etc.) that the Cardinal who consecrated Marcel Lefebvre had been a Mason. The reward was never claimed, for the reason that no such evidence exists. That the Cardinal was probably quite sympathetic, or even friendly towards Masons and Masonry, or even their confederate or stooge, is quite probable, owing to the liberal, anti-Catholic actions of his later life. But as to the claim that he was a formal member, that is definitely not true.
Of a little more interest is the real reason some people spread this rumor. The rationale goes like this: If the person who consecrated Lefebvre is a Mason, then perhaps out of Masonic villainy he deliberately withheld a valid intent to consecrate Lefebvre as a bishop. This would cast doubt on the validity of the ordinations of all priests of the SSPX that he ordained. One can readily see that the only people to gain from spreading this "conspiracy theory" are those of the Novus Ordo establishment who seek to undermine Lefebvre's work and divide the Church.
Really, this rumor is so ridiculous that I hesitated to even put it in this part of this book. For the sake of argument, let us suppose the extreme worst case, that Cardinal Lienart was a Mason who deliberately withheld a valid intention to consecrate any and all bishops (including Lefebvre) that he consecrated, so as to do his part to destroy the Apostolic Succession. The fact remains that there were two other bishops in that ceremony serving as co-consecrators. Either one of them alone would have been enough to convey a valid consecration to Lefebvre. That is precisely the reason why the Church generally provides for the presence of co-consecrators whenever making a bishop.
The main reason I include mention of this rumor is that this is the perfect example of why conspiracy theories are not discussed in this book. It is too easy for those who really do belong to the conspiracies to manipulate certain traditional Catholics by spreading certain conspiracy theories of their own.
Why don't any of the modern apparitions speak of the traditional Catholic movement?
Apart from the apparitions which have been approved by the pre-Roman Schism Catholic Church (before 1964), I strongly doubt that any of the well-known apparitions have any source in the supernatural realm, although it is possible that some may be positively Satanic in origin. Our Lady, assumed into Heaven and dwelling in the very sight of God, knows where the Church is, but "Our Lady," as presented in the mouths of these new seers, knows nothing more than the seers themselves (which isn't much). If, by any chance, She really has spoken to anyone, she would seem to have concluded that her seer was not ready for the fullness of the truth regarding the present situation.
An example to illustrate this point would be the numerous and bulky "messages" by Don Stefano Gobbi. Turning to the only mention (and that without even a name) of any of the great heroes who are helping the Church through this difficult period, one would surely expect to find Our Lady praising this hero and recommending his canonization. But let us see what we find in message 385, dated June 29, 1988. "The heart of the Pope is bleeding today because of one Bishop of the holy Church of God who, through an arbitrary episcopal ordination carried out against his will, is opening up a painful schism in the Catholic Church."
Clearly, this is a reference to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, but notice something missing? History recounts that there were two bishops performing an episcopal consecration, Marcel Lefebvre and Antonio de Castro Mayer. Yet the message only says one! Clearly, Gobbi's "Our Lady" is limited to the same information sources that Gobbi himself had access to. That source was the newsmedia, both Vatican and secular, TV, radio, and print, which all unanimously stressed Lefebvre to the total exclusion of de Castro Mayer. It was all "Lefebvre, Lefebvre, Lefebvre!" without so much as a word about who that other bishop was, or even the fact that more than one faithful bishop supported and participated in that action. That right there alone is proof positive that Fr. Gobbi's messages absolutely do not have their source in the supernatural (either divine or demonic)! It is interesting to note that some short time after putting the first edition of my book on-line, the Vatican institution, in a rare moment of sanity, declared Fr. Gobbi's messages to be not the least bit supernatural in their origin.
Furthermore, John Paul II was hardly bleeding his heart that day. When Philosopher and personal friend of Paul VI Jean Guitton paid a visit to Lefebvre several days prior to the consecrations, he asked "Monsignor, John Paul II is actually in Vienna in Austria. Let us suppose that he decides to take a helicopter and he arrives at Ecône during the ceremony. Would you then consecrate the four bishops?" Lefebvre answered him saying "Well, of course not. I would throw myself in his arms." He then reminded Jean Guitton that he was not a schismatic and not rebelling against Peter. John Paul II never took that helicopter. Instead, he spent the day in some now long-forgotten bit of administrivia which at the time he felt was much more important.