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Cardinal Theodore McCarrick attends a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in 2005.Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images

July 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The heart of the current apostasy unfolding in the Catholic Church may be stated thus: the Bride of Christ has forsaken her Bridegroom for another lover, the World. Of course, the Bride of Christ in her perfection, the Church Triumphant in heaven, can never be unfaithful, nor can the souls already saved but in need of purification, the Church Suffering in purgatory. We are speaking of the Church Militant on earth—and not, obviously, all Catholics, but far too many, especially in the hierarchy. We can see this in an unrelenting flood of bad news that hovers around bishops and cardinals.

We see the abandonment of Christ for the World in the sex abuse scandal surrounding Cardinal McCarrick, predator extraordinaire, and in the ranks of senior clergy who knew about his sinful behavior but refused to do anything about it, even joining in with his hypocrisy. The reaction to the stunning disclosures has been underwhelming, which supports the inference that the McCarrick problem is just the tip of the iceberg.

We see it in the episcopal non-reaction to the 15 “Catholic” senators who refused to vote against late-term abortions that inflict horrible pain on babies before depriving them of life. Senator Schumer of New York high-fived the “Catholic” senator from North Dakota, rejoicing that the slaughter will continue. Satan smiled on that one. Silence from the bishops. You can bet that if those 15 senators voted against a “comprehensive immigration reform” bill, the bishops would have immediately called them on the carpet for their cruelty towards the poor.

We see it in Cardinal Cupich’s warm welcome to Fr. James Martin, bridge-builder for sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, and his cold war against Fr C. Frank Phillips, founder of the Canons Regular of St John Cantius.

We see it in the support given by the same Cupich, together with Archbishop Gregory, Bishop McElroy, and Bishop Wester, to the openly heretical “Association of United States Catholic Priests” (AUSCP), based in Cleveland, Ohio—a clerical version of Call to Action. In any normal situation, all the members of this association and its patrons would have been excommunicated and told to do penance on bread and water until reconciliation might be possible.

We see it in the utter lack of seriousness with which the bishops and clergy of Ireland prepared their people for the fateful referendum on abortion, as a result of which, for the first time ever, a nation democratically turned against the unborn and declared open hunting season on its own children. Efforts to speak the truth in love and unmask the abortionist propaganda were almost solely the work of laity supported with private funds.

We see it in the Vatican “deal” with Communist China, by which the persecuted faithful children of the Church have been betrayed. (Interesting how nobody who lives under Communism ever favors such rapprochements—just the Communist agents in the clergy, like Bishop Sorondo, who said “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”)

We see it in Cardinal Marx and his allies, who receive no rebuke when they violate all that is most sacred, giving the Holy Eucharist to adulterers and non-Catholics, and plundering monasteries for their property. Meanwhile, the good and faithful servant Cardinal Sarah is swiftly rebuked if he dares to recommend the celebration of Mass ad orientem—a practice all Catholics had followed for nearly 2,000 years, and one that has, in any case, always been permissible with the new liturgical books.

One could, alas, go on and on. The deafening silence of many among our shepherds, their complicity with evil, their outright espousal of errors, is the great burden we are being asked to bear today in the Church. It is quite like the situation in Henry VIII’s England, when most of the bishops were cowards who went along with the status quo and the holders of power. St. John Fisher stood out, almost alone, for his unyielding fidelity.

As Pope Paul VI recognized in his famous homily on June 29, 1972, “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” The Devil has indeed infiltrated the Church and has recruited many useful idiots and fellow-travelers. Souls are being lost every day because they are led astray by worldly shepherds, wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

In the sixteenth century, a nun in Quito, Ecuador, Mariana Francisca de Jesus Torres y Berriochoa, received visions of Our Lady of Good Success, subsequently approved by the Church, in which the Holy Mother of God spoke many prophesies of future times. This one in particular stands out:

During this unfortunate epoch, injustice will even enter here [into the Church], my closed garden. Disguised under the name of false charity, it will wreak havoc in souls. The spiteful demon will try to sow discord, making use of putrid members, who, masked by the appearance of virtue, will be like decaying sepulchers emanating the pestilence of putrefaction, causing moral deaths in some and lukewarmness in others. … How the Church will suffer on that occasion the dark night of the lack of a Prelate and Father to watch over them with paternal love, gentleness, strength, and prudence!

Can any honest Catholic deny that we are living through the exact times of which Our Lady of Good Success warned us? Yet we know, when everything looks its bleakest and all human solutions have fallen away, that her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

We are living through a great purification. To St. Augustine is attributed the remark that the saints of the end times will have no further purging to endure after their life, since they will have already gone through it in this world. We must remain steadfast, weathering the storm, for Christ is still in the boat, silent though He may be, and it will never sink as long as He is near us and we are near Him.

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Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California (B.A. Liberal Arts) and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC (M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy). He taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria and the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program, then helped establish Wyoming Catholic College in 2006. There he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history and directed the choirs until leaving in 2018 to devote himself full-time to writing and lecturing.

Today he contributes regularly to many websites and publications, including New Liturgical Movement, OnePeterFive, LifeSiteNews, Rorate Caeli, The Remnant, and Catholic Family News, and has published thirteen books, including four on traditional Catholicism: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico, 2014, also available in Czech, Polish, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Belarusian), Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (Angelico, 2017), Tradition and Sanity (Angelico, 2018), and Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass (Angelico, 2020). His work has been translated into at least eighteen languages.

Kwasniewski is a scholar of The Aquinas Institute in Green Bay, which is publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor, a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center. He has published over a thousand articles on Thomistic thought, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church.

For news, information, article links, sacred music, and the home of Os Justi Press, visit his personal website,