Propped up by satan, humanism raises its ugly head in the fourteenth century
The fourteenth century would be fraught with widespread abuses within the Church, the Avignon exile and the Inquistion. Before resuming our chronological study of the Popes and the Avignon captivity, we will cover the first thrity years today of the 1300's. We will show why the year 1332 had so much significance as the Blessed Mother conveyed to renowned locutionist priest Father Don Stefano Gobbi on June 17, 1989 in his home city of Milan. One has to understand the political climate of that time in each country to see how satan chipped away at the very foundation of the Church both on the political and religious front.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century the Holy Roman Empire was breaking up as Germany and Italy were gaining power. The Teutonic Knights, a military religious order originally founded to protect the Holy Land, sought to convert Slavs to Christianity. To the victor goes the spoils, and after overcoming Prussia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and northern Poland, they kept control of those lands. In eastern Europe the Byzantine Church had broken with Rome in 1054 and was now trying to flex its political muscle through the Slavic kingdoms and Russia, but the Mongols, led by the notorious Ghengis Khan and later Kubla Khan, ravaged and pillaged Eastern Europe, conquering Poland and Hungary. In the aftermath the Serbs sought to recover the rich Byzantine Empire by recapturing Constantinople but were betrayed by the Ottoman Turks who aided the Byzantine Emperor, then turned on him and conquered Bulgaria, southern Serbia and all of the Byzantine Empire which the Turks have held onto to this day. It also illustrates the roots of the Croat-Serb hatred and why there is so much unrest in the former Yugoslavia. The great Charter Magna Carta, signed in England in 1215 was finally becoming the foundation for English liberty through the Model Parliament established by King Edward I. It was the beginning of the end of medieval England which set the stage for growing pains in the ensuing wars with France. And in France, the reign of the good and holy Saint Louis IX had given way to the treacherous reign of his grandson King Philip IV who had designs on extending the royal domain by renewing the Capetian effort and dispatching anyone who got in his way. He had no respect for the papacy, especially Pope Boniface VIII who led the Church at the beginning of the fourteenth century and whose feelings for Philip were mutual, so much so that both sovereigns misused their offices for personal vendetta. Yet, Boniface's widely discussed Papal Bull Unam Sanctam decreed that no country could tax the Church without the Holy See's permission. Also the fact Boniface decreed that every human person was subject to the Roman Pontiff did not sit well with many rulers who sought to control their subjects as well as increase their coffers by levying a tax on the Church which had grown in prosperity. Philip IV recoiled at this edict and tried to condemn Boniface, seizing him and imprisoning him at Aragni in Italy in 1303. Shortly after his incarceration he died. Blessed Pope Benedict XI succeeded Boniface on October 22, 1303 as the 194th successor of Peter, but lived less than a year, succumbing on July 7, 1304 to be followed by Pope Clement V who reigned until April 20, 1314. That was the beginning of the Avignon exile. The French, eager to dominate the papacy, moved the seat of the Holy See to Avignon in southern France. Thus began the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Roman Catholic Church. In order to influence the papacy, the French treated the Popes and cardinals like royalty, lavishing them with an opulent lifestyle. This basically weakened the Pope's resolve to be strong and make beneficial changes for the good of the people; rather they rubber-stamped almost everything the French rulers proposed, including building up an efficient system to tax the Church. Clement was followed by Pope John XXII who reigned from August 7, 1316 until December 4, 1334. He founded the supreme pontifical Order of knighthood - The Supreme Order of Christ which is conferred only on rare occasions.
It was during this time in history that the carbuncle of humanism was growing, beginning with the greed of many ecclesiastics for more power and wealth, the greed of many rulers who sought to exert their own power, the greed of barbarian hordes who were making their last stand, the greed of those who had less lusting after the possessions of those who had more. Yes, the world was playing right into satan's hands and, as we see, history does repeat itself...more often than not. And seldom do we learn. As you remember a few installments ago we delved into the meaning of the year 666 and what Our Lady indicated it signified. Today we deal with 666 times twice which computes to the year 1332 and the time we are covering in today's installment. Our Lady imparted to Fr. Gobbi the following,
"666 indicated twice, that is to say, for the second time, expresses the year 1332, thirteen hundred and thirty-two. In this period of history, the antichrist is manifested through a radical attack on the faith in the word (Parola) of God. Through the philosophers who begin to give exclusive value to science and then to reason, there is a gradual tendency to constitute human intelligence alone as the sole criterion of truth. There come to birth the great philosophical errors which continue through the centuries down to your days. The exaggerated importance given to reason as an exclusive criterion of truth, necessarily leads to the destruction of the faith in the word (Parola) of God. Indeed, with the Protestant Reformation, Tradition is rejected as a source of divine revelation, and onlyh Sacred Scripture is accepted. But even this must be interpreted by means of the reason, and the authentic Magisterium of the hierarchical Church, to which Christ has entrusted the guardianship of the deposit of faith, is obstinately rejected. Each one is free to read and to understand the Sacred Scripture according to one's personal interpretation. In this way, faith in the word (Parola) of God is destroyed. The work of the antichrist, in this period of history, is the division of the Church and the consequent formation of new and numerous christian confessions which gradually become driven to a more and more extensive loss of the true faith in the word (Parola) of God."
This brings us back to the beginning of the Avignon exile and the time of weakening as Our Lady speaks of above. It would all come to a head two centuries later and come to the showdown between Heaven and hell in the equation of 666 times three times which can be calculated as 1998. That's right: the very year we are now in. Before we head back to the fourteenth century, it's important to realize what the Blessed Mother indicated to Fr. Gobbi regarding our present times:
"666 indicated thrice, that is to say, for the third time, expresses the year 1998, nineteen hundred and ninety-eight. In this period of history, Freemasonry, assisted by eccliastical form, will succeed in its great design: that of setting up an idol to put in the place of Christ and His Church. A false christ and a false church. Consequently, the statue built in honor of the first beast, to be adored by all the inhabitants of the earth and which will seal with its mark all those who want to buy or sell, is that of the antichrist. You have thus arrived at the peak of the purification, of the great tribulation and of the apostasy. The apostasy will be, as of then, generalized because almost all will follow the false christ and the false church. Then the door will be open for the appearance of the man or of the very person of the antichrist."
Think about that and take a good look at history and we can see the accuracy of what the Blessed Virgin Mary has imparted. Because of Our Lady's Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception next Tuesday, we will not have this series; however it will return with the 84th installment in two weeks (December 15) when we reconvene our journey through the fourteenth century and the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Popes and Church at Avignon.