Third Great Crisis in the Universal Church

The longest crisis in the Church of Antiquity, Arianism, began soon after the last and worst Roman persecution, under Diocletian. Its nature was dogmatic, hence a crisis of faith. Arianism advanced a change in the profession of faith (Credo) over a seemingly intellectual and semantic point, unimportant at first sight, but which was in fact the very foundation of all revealed dogma: the double nature of Jesus Christ, divine and human. The main task of the first ecumenical councils was then to establish Christological dogmas on solid bases, including the dogmatic proclamations about the Blessed Virgin, which also aim to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man.

The Arian heresy, being a fundamental one, will still be felt strongly, although with more subtlety, all along the other two great crises.

The second great crisis is the Protestant Reformation. It was not mainly a dogmatic or intellectual crisis, but above all a crisis of authority. The object was to elevate the conscience, the personal will, against the legitimate authority of the Church. Various other heresies were added, but mostly to justify the revolt, and the Protestant individualism, especially the individual interpretation of Scripture, was the main culprit in the crisis and the tens of thousands of divisions that followed.

The nature of the present crisis is one of morals. The problem was already present in Protestantism, but the Reformers themselves and every sensible person saw from the first generation that the depravity consequent to the individualistic outlook in religion was threatening the whole society. The civil powers and the seriously religious people actively fought this tendency and were able to generally maintain the Western Christian moral standards, thus avoiding chaos. But the imbalance remained pervasive.

As Hilaire Belloc noted in his book The Great Heresies, Arianism lasted 300 years in the ancient world, and several ecumenical councils and a re-evangelization, basically, were necessary to root it out. The mainstream Protestant theology, Lutheran, Calvinist and Anglican, equally lasted about 300 years before being dissolved, toward the middle of the 19th Century, in the dogmatic and moral errors of modern Protestant theology. Hence the present crisis, branded The Modern Attack by Hilaire Belloc, for lack of a more precise designation, is already 150 years old. If it should last three centuries like the others, we can guess that, when the faith is rekindled in the Church, as Christ promised, the consequences will be with us for a few generations to come.

 

Note the progression of the object in each crisis and to which aspect of human personality they appeal: crisis of faith, crisis of authority, moral crisis; intellect, will, senses. Note also that the second and the third build on the previous ones.

At first, only an iota of doctrine (homo-ousios, homo-i-ousios) changes, and seasoned theologians alone are able to grasp easily the meaning and consequences of the change. The second time, some people pretend to have authority to “reform” the Church over the Pope and councils, and then the authority to change doctrine; but not too much at first, and quietly, so that the faithful would remain confident and follow suit with their princes and clergy. At the third great attack, infiltrators already in place, many of them for decades, seize in effect the power after Vatican II council, and transform the Church along the sentiments and desires of a cabal of depraved and bad shepherds. The faithful, laypeople or clerics, are accused of not getting the “spirit of Vatican II”, discredited and ignored.

In addition to promoting a new religion based on unhealthy sentiments, especially the desire to call evil good and conversely, that cabal repeats the heresies of the previous eras.

Loss of faith: as they do not believe anymore (or never did believe) that Christ is both God and Man and that the Gospel is still true and alive, especially with the witness of saints, miracles and conversions, their dogmatic discourse is empty and vain, often obscure to give an impression of profundity and hide errors.

Abuse of authority: in the measure of their power over chanceries, Roman congregations, seminaries, universities, the wolves in sheep clothing silence, persecute, ostracize, eliminate from public discourse – or even eliminate physically, through some civil authority like Communist China – the faithful they deem “dissident”.

 

Now that the crisis is exposed and the infiltration is shown to be in such an advanced stage, we see more clearly that our new heretics practice actively or passively an heresy that might be qualified as new, at least by its magnitude, and also by its character of immorality.

Like the previous heretics, they also practice Caesaropapism, where Caesar, meaning any totalitarian government, is master of the Church and treats the Pope and bishops as servants. Communist China is again an example.

Contrary to unceasing accusations in the propaganda and false history peddled by Protestants and socialists, Caesaropapism never had much traction over the Catholic Church. Several monarchs tried it, but without notable success. We may suppose that reasonable rulers usually understood that religious liberty is necessary and did not try to impose their personal beliefs on their people.

Lutheran German princes, Anglican monarchs, Socialist ideologues, and so-called “modernist” clerics in the Church stand in stark contrast. Modernist clerics, in particular, depend more and more on governments for funding and are willing to turn a blind eye to many unacceptable political and moral positions on the part of politicians in order to benefit from public funding.

 

It seems that the modern attack has succeeded by now in infiltrating almost everything that counts in the Church government. While the Arians and Protestants, with the support of civil authorities, Roman, English, German and others, could only establish separate and temporary religions, today’s infiltrators could be in a position to completely substitute the Church with their creation. But their creation, since they do not have the true faith nor the true way (the supreme True and Good), can only be an appearance of the Church. As it is already shown to be ugly, the sheep will not be mistaken forever. The Good Shepherd and his faithful shepherds left will take care of them.

 

October 2, 2019, feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

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