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Chicago Cardinal Blase CupichPhoto by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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(LifeSiteNews) – In a recent speech, Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich said he thinks “young people” are going to look back on this “era” as a “golden age in the life of the Church.” While I almost certainly disagree with His Eminence on what constitutes a “golden age,” I actually think his appraisal is right, albeit for the wrong reasons.  

One only has to look back on other times of division, open heresy, and attempted revolution in the 2,000-year history of the Church to realize that God truly does permit the proliferation of error to bring about a greater clarity.  

Without the heresy of Arianism – a belief that Jesus Christ was not truly God – capturing nearly every bishop in the early church, the Catholic Church would have never been blessed with the heroic courage of St. Athanasius and the clear understanding of Christ’s relationship to God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. 

Likewise, without the heresies of Donatism and Pelagianism, who knows if our beautiful understanding of God’s grace would be as strong as it is, or if St. Augustine would be renowned and revered in the manner he is today.  

Christ also made this point here on earth. He gave himself up to be crucified in order to save us through His Resurrection. 

The overarching point is simple: while struggle within the Church is painful, particularly when the faithful feel abandoned by their shepherds, one is hard pressed to find a time where the saint or saints that were raised up by God to defend Holy Mother Church did not more than make up for the confusion created by the wayward. 

While someone like Cupich – who has a history of targeting the Traditional Mass, endorsing the anti-Catholic LGBT agenda, and allowing “blasphemous” liturgies to take place – is likely referring to the current wayward prelates and their revolutionary efforts as the “golden age,” rather than those who are fighting against the usurpation of the faith, I think his own phrase betrays him.  

Gold, like the one true Faith, cannot tarnish and cannot be willed by man. It can only be discovered and guarded, but not fundamentally altered or spontaneously redefined. Gold deposits, like the deposit of faith, have been preserved for millennia despite vast human efforts to unearth, extract, and manipulate its properties to serve the will of prideful men.  

If one tries to destroy gold with fire, all that happens is further purification. When the Church undergoes a similar trial by fire, it seems that those who hang on only become more convicted.  

While Cupich and other prelates who have the desire to align the Church to the ways of the fallen world attempt to usher in a new age, there exists a golden age fostering underneath, as young people flock to the Traditional Mass and Traditional Sacraments as a place of refuge from the apostate culture.  

When leaders in the Church become nearly indistinguishable from our corrupt political leaders, the young people seeking the truth will inevitably hunger for more than is being offered, and thus the “remnant” forms. 

Thinking about the current crisis in the Church, whether it be the mass apostacy of the baptized or the persecution inside the Church against those seeking orthodoxy and tradition, I cannot help but remind myself what a successful Christian life is.  

Look no further than the Twelve Apostles. Certainly, the life of Christ, the creation of the Church, and the work of the Apostles after Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, would constitute a “golden age” in the Church, yet, barring Judas, all of the apostles were persecuted and St. John the only one who was not martyred! 

To the average Christian at the time, the “golden age” may have been much bloodier and more brutal than expected, yet golden it was.  

Whenever and however Christ ends up liberating the Church (and of course He will), His groundwork is being laid right now, and to me that alone warrants for calling this era a “golden age.”

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Jack Bingham is an addiction recovery advocate and author turned Catholic journalist and writer. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Laurentian University and currently resides in Western Canada with his wife and children.