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April 17, 2020 (Rorate Caeli) – The international scenario in the spring of 2020 is new, unexpected, and dramatic. Confusion dominates because no one is able to truly say exactly what has happened: where the coronavirus came from, when it will end, and how it should be confronted.

What is certain, however, is that against this background, two cities continue to fight in history, the Civitas Dei and the Civitas Diabuli: their aim is to annihilate each other. They are the two cities that Saint Augustine speaks of: “One is the society of devoted men, the other of rebels, each one has its own angels – in the first city the love of God is superior, and in the other the love of self” (De Civitate Dei, lib. XIV, c. 13,1).

This mortal battle was evoked with efficacious words by Pius XII in his discourse to the men of Catholic Action on October 12, 1952. The Pope affirmed that the world was threatened by an enemy much worse than the fifth century enemy Attila the Hun, “the scourge of God.” “Oh, do not ask us who the “enemy” is or what clothes he wears. He is found above all in everyone’s midst; he knows how to be violent and subtle. In these last few centuries he has tried to create intellectual, moral, and social desegregation of the unity of the mysterious organism of Christ. He wanted nature without grace; reason without faith; freedom without authority; and sometimes authority without freedom. He is an “enemy” who has become ever more concrete, with a ruthlessness that still leaves people astonished: Christ yes, Church no. Then: God yes, Christ no. And finally his full cry: God is dead; and even: God never existed. And behold the attempt to structure the world on foundations that we do not hesitate to point out as the principal things responsible for the threat that is incumbent on humanity: an economy without God, a law without God, a political system without God.”

The school of Counter-Revolutionary thought gave this school the name of Revolution, referring to the teaching of the popes: a historical process lasting over many centuries that has as its goal the destruction of the Church and Christian civilization. The Revolution has its agents all of the secret forces that work in both a public and hidden manner for this end. The Counter-Revolutionaries are those who oppose themselves against this proces of dissolution and who fight for the restoration of Christian civilization, the only civilization worthy of the name, as Saint Pius X recalls (Encyclical Letter Il fermo proposito, June 11, 1905).

The clash between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries continues in the age of the Coronavirus. It is logical that each of these seeks to draw out the maximum advantage from the new situation. The existence of disturbing revolutionary maneuvers seeking to profit from the events does not however mean that these forces created the situation in which we find ourselves, in which they control and direct it. The representatives of the most diverse governments, from China to the United States, from Great Britain to Germany, from Hungary to Italy, have imposed on their nations the same health measures, such as quarantine, which some of them initially mistrusted. Would these political leaders really allow themselves to be dominated by a health dictatorship imposed on them by virologists? But the virologists in turn, who at the beginning were divided because some of them considered the coronavirus only as a “bad influence,” were assaulted by reality and today are all in agreement on the necessity of more drastic measures in order to contain the virus. The truth is that medical science has revealed itself as being incapable of eradicating the virus. The choice to impose quarantine, the same choice that has been made for millennia in the face of a grave epidemic, is born from common sense, not from their specific medical competence.

The problem naturally is not only the many health concerns but also the economic and social consequences that the virus can have in our interconnected society. But the solution to these sorts of problems that are getting worse throughout the world belongs to politicians, not doctors. And if the international political class hides behind the screen of health officials in order to make its decisions, that is because of the inadequacy of those who govern the world today. The political failure parallels the health failure. How can we forget that the supreme international health authority, the World Health Organization, announced thirty years ago “a world without epidemics” thanks to its project called “Health for everyone before the year 2000,” with the consequence that in many countries the funds dedicated to health were cut or dedicated primarily to rare diseases? The director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is politically close to communist China, went to Beijing on January 28, 2020, and after meeting with President Xi Jinping told the world that everything in Wuhan was under control, minimizing the extent of the catastrophe. Only after many, many hesitations did the WHO acknowledge the reality while continuing to lie about the number of people infected and the number of deaths caused by it, which were certainly not overestimated but rather were underestimated.

In addition to the economic and social problems, there are the equally serious psychological and moral problems that are a result of a prolonged lock-down and the radical change of life that has been imposed by the coronavirus. But here the last word rests not so much with doctors and politicians as with priests, bishops, and finally the supreme pastor of the universal Church. And yet the image that Pope Francis gave during the Easter Triduum was that of a man who is downcast and depressed, unable to confront the catastrophe with the spiritual weapons at his disposal. The same thing may be said about the majority of bishops. The class of ecclesiastical leaders, who are devoid of serious theological studies or any authentic spiritual life, have shown themselves to be just as inadequate as the political class in guiding its flock through the darkness of the present time.

What should counter-revolutionaries do in this situation – those who are faithful to Tradition, zealous Catholics who are full of the apostolic spirit? What should their strategy be in the face of the maneuvers of the forces of darkness?

First of all, they ought to show that a world is collapsing, the globalized world that the deformed projects of Bill Gates and his friends will not succeed in keeping on its feet, despite all of their efforts. The end of this world that is a child of the Revolution was announced one hundred years ago at Fatima, and the horizon that we have in front of us is not the hour of the final dictatorship of the Antichrist but rather that of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, preceded by the chastisements announced by the Blessed Mother if humanity would not convert. Today, even among the best Catholics, there is a psychological resistance against speaking of chastisements. But Count Joseph de Maistre admonishes us: “Chastisement governs all of humanity; chastisement guards it; chastisement keeps watch while the watchmen sleep. The wise man considers chastisement as the perfection of justice” (Les soirées de Saint Petersbourg, Pelagard, Lyon 1836, vol. I, p. 37).

Saint Charles Borromeo in turn recalls that “among all the other corrections that his divine Majesty sends, the chastisement of pestilence is usually attributed to his hand in a more special way,” and he explains this principle with the example of David, the sinner king, to whom God gave the choice of either plague, war, or famine as a chastisement. David chose the plague with these words: “Melius est ut incidam in manus Domini, quam in manus hominum.” It is better that I fall into the hands of God than into the hands of men. Therefore, Saint Charles concludes, “the plague, along with war and famine, is attributed very especially to the hand of God” (Memoriale ai Milanesi di Carlo Borromeo, Giordano Editore, Milan 1965, p. 34). 

It is the hour to recognize the merciful hand of God in the scourges that begin to strike humanity.

Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino @pellegrino2020

Reprinted with permission from Rorate Caeli