The future and our choices

We are headed for very hard times.

Huge changes loom, both in the secular level and also the spiritual realm.
It is hard to read the times and not come to alarming conclusions.

World leadership has shifted remarkably in a short period of time.

The financial crisis hasn’t even begun to get serious.  Let’s not kid ourselves about how bad things could get.  How bad?  At Fatima the Blessed Mother of God spoke of the annihilation of nations.  Nations can be wiped out, and it doesn’t take war to do the job.

In the USA we are facing the strong likelihood of FOCA, the "Freedom of Choice Act" which will effectively eliminate restriction on abortion and curtail the rights of parents and physicians to exercise their own freedoms and rights. 

Take a look at the video, below.  It is also on YouTube right now… I say "right now, because I suspect it will be pulled because it is pro-life and therefore "hate speech".  For that reason, I also put it on my server. 

"But Father! But Father!", some might object.  "This is just Michael O’Brien stuff you are gabbling now.  Just relax.  Watch!  Things aren’t as bad as you are suggesting. Stop your scaremongering!"

Well… yah, pal!  This is "Michael O’Brien stuff!"  And mark my words the "fairness doctrine" is going to be ushered to the fore again, very soon.  There will be a strong effort to shut down the alternative media, such as the stronger voices in the Catholic blogosphere.  Just you watch.  Just watch as leaders in the Church start to line up on different sides.  Some will apply huge pressure, canonical, financial, psychological, to clerics who decide to stand up and speak an unambiguous message rooted in Catholic teaching.

Actually, this has already begun.

Some will say the video is corny, because of the music from Rocky.

Some will say that it is alarmist, because it speaks in stark terms.

But do you honestly think we are not at an important crossroad?

Catholics had to make choices in 1930’s Germany.

Catholics had to make choices behind the iron and bamboo curtains.

It’s our turn.

Neither this video, nor I, nor any sound Catholic people will advocate violence or uncharitable acts. 

Neither I nor this video suggest or ask for any disrespect to elected officials or defiance of law and order.

What this video asks is that Catholics embrace the teachings of Holy Church and the truth written into our hearts. 

It asks that Catholics practice their Catholic faith, that they be Catholics

In no way does being Catholic take us out of the public square or place us entirely out of the sphere of what Caesar justly requires.  We have obligations to the state, as well as rights. 

But our obligation to God and the truth has priority.  Only in our fidelity as Catholics can we offer our special contributions to the common good.  We have a right and duty to participate in the public square.

We can only have something good to contribute if we know who we are as Catholics, if we embrace that identity, and act accordingly according to our vocations in our proper spheres of life.

We must first fight the battle for our Catholic identity before we can make a difference in the world.

We must make choices.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ED says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. I have been thinking about the same things.

  2. Brian Mershon says:

    I remember just a short while ago that many readers posted that the SSPX bishops that were interviewed for Angelus Magazine sounded “alarmist” and “apocalyptic.” The terms were used in a derogatory–not just factual–manner.

    Hmmm…. Makes one wonder… [And you point?]

  3. Memphis Aggie says:

    Very fine post and video, seeing John Paul II reminds me of real courage it took to remain faithful in Poland.

  4. SC says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    God bless you!! I agree about seeing JPII’s face and feeling GREAT! We can do this! This is why we were put here, to bear witness to the Truth! What an exciting time to be alive, my friends!

  5. Janet says:

    Very good video. Thank you, Fr. Z! This sounds like just what Fr. Corapi has been pounding into our heads for years. We are at war, spiritually, and we are all soldiers.

  6. Tyler says:

    I thank you, Fr. Z, for posting a video and a message that shows how dire our situation is without making it sound as if you have received visions that this is the apocalypse, or that Obama is the Anti-Christ. It seems that too often posts and videos either stay on the “everything is fine” side, or go to the extreme of “Obama is bringing about the end of the world”. He might(although I doubt it). But he is definitely going to make a lot of changes for the worse. People seem to have forgotten since the election that “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

    As a side note, while getting that verse right, in Mark 13, I came across this verse that strikes a chilling chord with what is happening: “Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.”

  7. Subvet says:

    My own thinking had lately gone down the same path. I get doubts about it because hey, I’m just a retired turd chaser from the sub force who now plays at stay-at-home parenting. Not much intellect evident.

    Then I come across the same things at sites like this and I REALLY get troubled!

    The battle lines are drawn, the poop has hit the fan. Time to see who will stand and fight.

    God have mercy upon us all.

  8. Jenny Z says:

    I wrote about this in my private blog just yesterday. Alot of us feel something big brewing, something Not Good. The spiritual warfare is almost palpable.

    Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. —Ephesians 6:10-18

  9. Stephen says:

    We have already seen a renewal of youth gravitating towards, or supporting, Communism again (youth in Japan). There are voices speaking about being happy about the possibility of the fall of capitalism.

    What worries me is that the Church may become a target in the future due to the economic stresses – which Fr. Z rightly points out haven’t even begun to really get going. Not here so much as in Europe.

    I can see a scenario unfolding where people take to the streets to protests against (food prices, gasoline shortages, etc.) and then point to the Church as being “rich,” etc. My worry is for the integrity of the church buildings and the safety for priests.

    And the media would feed this. Just look at what they did with the priest scandals. I think these difficulties will be used to try to destroy the Church, as the world has tried to do so many times before. And while *they* will never be successful, it can hurt the clergy and the faithful in the short term.

  10. Jacob says:

    O’Brien’s most salient point was that for those /inside/ of history, it would all seem quite normal.

    Christ coming as a thief in the night is actually a thief knocking at the front door to see if we’re clueless enough to open the door and invite Him in.

  11. RANCHER says:

    This video along with the last two week’s Spirit & Life Newsletters by Fr. Tom Euteneuer ( are powerful. By virtue of having spent the last 41 years in law enforcement I am not one given to hysterics or over-reaction. Nor am I one thus far to advocate even lawful civil disobedience. I suspect that is about to change. Obama, intentionally or not, hss through his stated philosophy and his cabinet appointments, declared war on the Catholic Church in the USA. If an effort is made to force Catholic doctors and hospitals to perform abortions and Catholic adoption agencies to place children in homosexual households it is time for dramatic protest.

    The Church in the USA is about to suffer a persecution not seen here ever in our history. Martyrdom is not inconceivable. The battle we are facing would be difficult enough if all U S Catholics accepted and practiced the true teachings of our faith. With the Church being fragmented on many issues it will likely be a case of orthodox Catholics vs all others. From that, hopefully, will come at least a small contingent of true Catholic leaders followed by believers of strong moral conviction. If that be the case can truth win? YES IT CAN.

  12. Gerry Scheidhauer says:

    in my inbox today:

    The battle for Catholic culture begins with us, and there is no time like the present to don the armor of spiritual warfare. We either believe and practice what the Church teaches or we live as part of the shadow church, falsely trading on the Name Catholic for its benefits without at the same time shouldering the crosses that this entails.

    There is, however, great hope for the future because the battle has already been engaged: new Catholic colleges are springing up to replace the old decrepit houses of heresy, new religious orders with abundant vocations and orthodoxy have arisen, home schooling families and strong lay movements are abundant now. Only when we take back our beloved Church from the false Catholics and clerics will our Church be able to stand up and rebuke the storm winds of paganism that are building faster than we care to admit. This project is not without its price, however. The cost of being a true believer will undoubtedly be much higher than ever before in our lifetime. Starting now and into the next generation we as Catholics will have to show the world not only what we believe but that we are willing to lay down our lives for it as a witness to the truth.

    Catholic bishops will fight Obama on abortion
    Cardinal: Abortion undermines common good

    Sincerely Yours in Christ,

    Fr. Tom Euteneuer: Election Part II – Catholic Culture and theElection of Barack Obama

  13. LCB says:

    If Catholics had placed their faith first WW2 would never have taken place. God help us all.

  14. SC says:

    Be not afraid! The treasure of the Church is in US! It is in our priests and our Saints and the Eucharist! We have Christ’s promise to remain with us and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against us! The Church flowers under persecution and we need not fear it. Complacency is what we should fear. What I so love about this video is just what Fr. Z said, ‘it asks that Catholics embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church.’ Our strength lies not in Church structures or wealth or even the reputation of the Church in the world. We have been given everything we need to weather this storm, and Hope is what we most need. Even the corny Rocky soundtrack is full of hope! “Pray, Hope and don’t worry!” -St. Padre Pio.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    Just saying…

    I think we’re all in agreement then…

  16. MS says:

    Very inspiring video — great for shaking me out of complacency.

  17. DavidJ says:

    I understand all the comments about “the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against us” relating to the Church being protected, but I always think that there’s a large part of that quote that goes unexamined. The Church is not a city to be defended from assault, the Church is to carry the gospel everywhere to _attack_ the powers of hell. Christ, and his Church, will _overcome_ evil. The gates of hell cannot prevail against it because nothing is more powerful than Christ.

    So on that note, sitting in our pews and praying, while good, is not the answer. Being public and vocal Christians is the key. The world may hate us for it, but it will not go unchanged because of it.

  18. Ohio Annie says:

    I agree with Jacob’s comment. See how easily people acquiesced to “reasonable gun control” without looking at the historical facts which the world has been through before. And see how easily people have acquiesced to murder couched as “freedom of choice.” And legalized perversion couched as “fairness.”

    I, too, wonder about chastisement vs. our call to change things. It will be interesting to see how things go, who ends up on which side. It’s like the Chinese curse, we live in interesting times. Deadly times for too many.

  19. Coletta says:

    “We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church,
    of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence.”
    Pope John Paul II.

  20. Cathy Dawson says:

    Ok, I’ve got my armor on. Now what?

  21. Calleva says:

    Father, this is not swivel-eyed nutjob stuff, it’s the truth. America has a huge battle ahead and already the forces are lining up. We could, I suppose, retreat into a cosy little huddle, saying everything is going to be all right, let’s be comfortable with what we have and accept that the rest of the world doesn’t agree with us… sound familiar? Of course it does!

    We may soon have to fight for our faith or risk losing it. The West needs the Catholic presence. Our fight is not earthly (no urban terrorism) but spiritual, and our weapons will be spiritual – the rosary, novenas, adoration, fasting, the sacraments.

    If I’m not mistaken, EWTN feel this too. I have noticed that since Obama’s election there has been a greater sense of gravity among the presenters. Johnette Bencowitz, for example, had a panel speaking informatively on stem cell research. All these things are needed to educate people about the implications of the incoming presidency.

    Here, in England, of course, we have the same concerns. Please pray for us as we await the appointment of a new Cardinal. The choice could well affect the life of the church here in the next decade.

  22. Gail says:

    Our Lady at Fatima requested that the Pope with the Bishops of the world consecrat Russia to Her Immaculate Heart – then there would be a period of peace – this still has not been done! This is the answer! and we must continue to petition His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to put Our Lady’s request in place – it is most urgent or we will continue on a downwill spiral.

  23. Karl says:

    As a man who has been persecuted by the state(federal and state) as well as
    the Catholic Church, through its support of my wife’s long relationship with
    her adulterous partner, nothing that the state(federal and state)does surprises
    me. I, and many others like me, live faithfully according to our vows and we
    face real persecution that, for many of us, has driven us to homelessness
    and imprisonment. It is long past time for our American priests and bishops
    to be openly persecuted, and those who defend them, for their barbaric
    destructive attacks against valid marriages in their tribunals and in their
    pastoral encouragement of them.

    The Church abandoned the defense of marriage long ago and pays it empty lip
    service. It turns its back on the unjustly abandoned and welcomes their
    adulterous persecutors and their criminal accomplices, who are often Catholic
    priests, as in our case.

    Welcome to modern times.

    Rome, return to the defense of marriage. Shut down your nullity mills and
    revamp your pastoral practices which encourge divorce and fake remarriages.
    You are destroying your own and giving scandalous example of ignoring our
    pleas for your help to heal our marriages as you welcome our own spouses who
    in public, with Catholic priests’ and bishops tacit encouragement, openly
    “worship” at Mass with their “lovers’ and “their” children, many of whom have
    given up their faith as they watched the Church, for their whole lives,
    support the adultery that broke up their home, which, strangely, the Church
    teaches they are entitled to but does nothing to bring about. They have seen
    their “single” “divorced by force” faithful parent, criticized for speaking
    the truth about the Catholic Church and seen priest after priest support
    adultery and give Communion to the adulterers, knowingly…until threats
    of canonical action forced a bishop to cease the public Communion, since two
    decisions from the Roman Rota are witness to the valid, Sacrament that is
    being mocked.

    The Catholic Church is merely experiencing its overdue chastizement.

    I pray that it will learn from its persecution. I pray that it will see what
    it is doing to itself. I pray that priests like Father Z open their eyes,
    more fully, to see the truth.

  24. Joel L says:

    I thnk it has been mentioned in this blog before but I would like to throw in another plug for book by Archbishop Chaput, “Render Unto Caesar”. It makes for a great Christmas gift.

  25. Antonio says:

    Thank you Fr. Z, and thank you for mentioning Fatima. In a country like Argentina, we often think that the important things happen everywhere else. But I think this battle will have so huge proportions, that nobody is going to be “outside”.

  26. Ohio Annie says:

    I, too, know someone who is in the position described by Karl. It makes me wonder. And also makes me glad God saw fit to not send me a mate. Karl, I will pray a rosary for you today too.

  27. John Enright says:

    I’m obviously concerned about FOCA, but I think that any such attempts to enact such disgusting legislation will ultimately fail due to Constitutional irregularities. I’ve commented before on this very important issue, so I don’t want to duplicate the text. Here’s the link: . Just search for “enright” and you’ll find it.

  28. Ottaviani says:

    Apart from the music – the video was rather penetrating. All I can say is that I am glad I am not living in the USA.

    It is also good that mention has been given to Fatima and its increasing relevance to our times. It was very sad to realize that none of the bishops of the world, when faced with threat of a pro-choice government coming into power, have ever called for a Rosary Crusade to entrust their homeland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, this is all symptomatic to the attitude that Rome has taken, since the pontificate of John XXIII, to Fatima. There has been a systematic approach to relegate it to annals of history. A few fleeting references here and there whenever May 13th comes along but nothing much else is ever promoted. It is now the vogue that devotion to Our Lady has been discouraged by some officials of the church because it would be “un-ecumenical”.

    Our Lady said at Fatima that Red Russia would spread her errors through-out the world, if the Pope did not consecrate the country to Her Immaculate Heart. The fact that Obama is now president of the most powerful country in the world is sufficient proof of that.

    I think it was Padre Pio who said, “Pray because there is nothing else left to do”

  29. If one’s priorities do not include becoming a saint, then that is part of the problem, rather than being part of the solution. Remember Jesus started the Church with only about 500 people, the 500 that He appeared to after His Resurrection. You don’t need massive amounts of leaven to raise the loaf.

    It is pretty obvious that apostasy is rampant since even the Catholic countries, like Mexico, have fallen to the abortion plague. Approx 75% (varies by survey) of Catholics don’t even attend Sunday Mass. But Our Lady lamented that at La Salette in 1846. In Dublin Ireland 20 years ago, there were 100 priests ordained for the diocese. This year there were 3. Homosexual behavior is being codified into law, with the claims of so-called “hate crimes” about speaking against the so-called “rights” of the relativistic “sexual orientation.” In the past, God had to cleanse Sodom and Gomorrah Himself with brimstone. Now we have the nuke technology enabling us to do it ourselves, the immorality to deserve it, and the immorality to choose it. Karol Cardinal Wojtyla said, “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.” Our Lady on October 13, 1973 said at Akita, “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.”

    This is Biblical stuff, not merely Michael O’Brien stuff.

    But “Be not afraid.” Rather, be ready. With Obama being elected, the people got what they asked for. 2009 will bring us “interesting times.”

  30. Karl says:

    Dear Ohio Annie,

    May I spiritually join my rosary that I say on my train ride home, with yours?
    I have many intentions for mine, not the least of which is that our marriage
    be restored and our children return or remain, as the case may be, to the

    Often priests are not, intellectually, aware of the realities in broken homes
    and hear only the “happy” stories. Our childrens faith has been mostly
    destroyed after years of their praying for their parents with no results and
    from seeing, as I already mentioned, priest after priest encourage their
    mother’s relationship with her lover. Her lover is a Cantor in a Byzantine
    Catholic Church. The priest knows, fully, the situation and I had to “force”
    his ceasing giving Communion to the lovers. I wonder if he still does it on
    the sly. He supports their adultery fully and has powerful friends in Rome, I
    have been told.

    It is so devastating to know your marriage is a sacrament and to see Bishops
    ignore your pleas for help and to see your children lose the precious faith
    they once had.

  31. ckdexterhaven says:

    An unsettling part of the video is when the phrase “67 million Catholics” goes across the screen. How depressing that 30+ million voted for the guy who favors abortion. I am having a hard time convincing my husband that this is “serious”. He thinks I’m over reacting, and “it’s not going to be that bad”.

    I agree with others who say the spiritual warfare is almost palpable. I’ve felt that for about 6 months now.

  32. Ed Casey says:

    Father – this is a tremendous find.

    Right away I took the file and downloaded it and encoded it into iPhone, mpeg4 movie and Quicktime formats so I could share it with others. I am quite concerned about this possibility – and as well for the Diocesan hospital systems around the country which this will effect.

    Prayers for a great weekend,


  33. Warren says:

    Folks, the signs of internal decay are all there, making it that much easier for the rise of a dictatorship of the culture of death. When a nation is fixated on licentiousness, there will be little resistance from forces that will be embraced by those who want, at any cost, a “fix” for the mounting chaos (economic collapse, moral decay, pressure to conform to deadly ideologies, etc.). Yes, the barbarians outside the gates are a threat to civilization. However, what made possible the decline of the Roman Empire was the threat from within making it easy for those barbarians to overrun an over extended, hedonistic empire distracted by all its woes. In this day and age we should take a hard look at those nations that have fallen prey to fundamentalism of one kind or another, be it jihadist, secularist or communist, and ask – are we any less susceptible? Are we any less prone to persuasion by dangerous men who seduce us to join an irrational cause? When we see a person rise swiftly to power, and witness a multitude intoxicated by promises of change (shades of the Nuremberg rallies…) amidst a collapsing economy and a drift of people away from the civilizing effect of the Gospel, when reason is turned on its head, the historians confirm that this has happened before and can happen again – the consequences can be dire. Nations can be annihilated.

    It is not alarmist to suggest what really amounts to common sense: we had better prepare for the coming trials by intensifying our conformity to Christ and His Church. We have to be sharp, wise – the fidelity of the Church in Poland has something to teach us about countering evil.

    I entirely agree with those voices that identify the problem that Catholics-in-name-only present to the Church and country. Indeed, our worst enemies are not outside the Church but those wolves among the sheep. The worry is that many good people will suffer in body and spirit because of the bad works of the Quislings among us.

    The Lord knows what we need in order to be a holy and spotless bride betrothed to Him alone. If that be a trial by fire, the Church will be made pure. God’s will be done. The Church will not do well if we embrace the relativism that makes wide the road to perdition. God have mercy on us all.

    Thank you, Fr. Z., for initiating this sobering topic.

  34. I’ve stated this opinion before and I will state it again:

    This nation will go through a financial crisis similar to the Great Depression. All of the signs are there to see with the nearly complete collapse of the banking system, the ineffectual response of the US Government and mounting layoffs. There is real suffering out there. The likes of which this country hasn’t seen in 70 years. The good Lord is not doing this to punish this country so much as this is His last call for the nation to come to repentance. The only way He could get our collective attention was through a massive financial collapse. When people can’t find jobs and have families to feed, they will quickly turn to the Lord for help. We have barely begun to see how bad things will get. 10% unemployment, 15%…who knows? But if out of all this the nation turns to the Lord for help, then indeed the suffering will be worthwhile.

  35. Charivari Rob says:

    Yes, the President-Elect has said he will sign FOCA into law.

    It must reach him first.

    Are there any indications as to its degree of support in Congress?

    I’ve heard that only 20% of Senators and Representatives support it, but I can’t take that number as reliable, for several reasons –

    1. The item that cited the 20% figure gave no data to back it up.
    2. It referred to the Congress whose term is ending. The makeup of the body will be different in January.
    3. Senators and reps may play their position differently when discussing prospective legislation that would be sure to be vetoed than they would with a sympathetic Chief Executive.

    Can anybody point me towards any reliable projections?

  36. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    I understand the need to try to protect the lives of the unborn, but the answers this video advocates are not going to work. Calling your congressman, and trying the political solution is doomed to failure. Our country is pagan and needs to be converted. Our country has always needed to be converted. We need to look to the Church for the principles that will solve our problems. Turning to the Republicans, or the Democrats, the Conservatives or the Liberals is not going to work. We need to tell people that the Church has the answer, not just for her spiritual life (though that would be a refreshing start), but also has the answer for the her political problems, and economic problems. Only the Church has these answers because only the Church understands correctly the nature of man.

    The vast, vast, vast majority of our fellow country men live in an objective state of mortal sin. 2.5 million people die each year in our country – what percent do you think die with the Sacraments? We spend way to much of our time concentrating on compromise political solutions, that at best, only slow the progress of the disease. We need to spend some time striking at the root of the problem. Our country will never make any head way until Catholics start to convert this land. We need to convert the Catholics, because I seriously doubt that even the ones that go to Church weekly have the faith. Then we need to go out and convert the country and make it Catholic. You may say that this has no chance of happening, but I tell you it is the only chance we have to bring about a culture of life. The culture of life will not come about by preaching Republicanism, Conservatism, Liberalism, or even Judeo-Christianity. It will only come about when the Church in this country decides to preach the full Gospel message in with all its challenges: He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and dirnk his blood, you shall not have life in you.

  37. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    My aren’t I proud…I forgot the most important person to convert, the person that needs to be converted first, ourselves. We seriously need to question everything we think we know and turn to the Church with docility to be taught. Catholics in America are and have for the most part always been weak, because they have looked to their country first, and then to their Church. Some have even tried to remake the Church in America’s image.

  38. Hettie B. says:

    Many thanks for sharing this video, Father. The time for complacency among Catholics is indeed over. We each need to exercise our true freedom of choice to choose our side in the battle. This is no time for faintness, equivocation, half-heartedness or lukewarmth.

    Like you and others, I too have been thinking (and blogging) about the spiritual war, persecution, and martyrdom that I sense looming large. It’s one of those situations where I really wouldn’t mind being proven wrong! What most surprises me are the wells of peace, hope, and strength I’ve discovered within me. My soul is troubled, but not to the point of fear and despair. It’s been more of a wake-up call and a call-to-arms.

    God bless and be with us all.

  39. Howard says:

    Certainly we should be prepared for whatever may happen, and that will include persecutions in all places, some time or another. Look at what’s happening in India, in Iraq, in Turkey, etc. Look at how the “Eldest Daughter” of the Church started the Revolution of which the Bolshevik Revolution — in “Holy Mother Russia” — was only a part. But there’s something special about the US, and that can’t happen here? Yeah, right.

    On the other hand, it’s best not to overreact.

    For example, one of the many reasons I think George the 2nd was a sorry president was the fact that he tended to mix religious language into his speeches in a massively inappropriate way.

    In his 2003 state of the union address, he included the line, “…there’s power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.” Compare this with the hymn Power in the Blood:
    There is power, power, wonder working power
    In the blood of the Lamb;
    There is power, power, wonder working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb.

    On the first anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, President Bush said at Ellis Island, “This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind…. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.”
    Compare this with John 1:1-5 in “Today’s New International Version” (

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    These are all very wrong, and we should be watchful, but at the same time we should wait to see just how bad any given president will actually be in office.

  40. EDG says:

    Does anyone remember that the Pope (BXVI) asked in the speech after his election that we pray for him that he not run away when the wolves come? That little phrase mystified me and stuck with me. For the Pope, I think the wolves will probably be in the Church itself, that is, other bishops. For the rest of us, I imagine a lot will depend on what happens to the Pope, but I think we will all face the wolves before too long. We must pray very hard for the Pope.

  41. Steve K. says:

    God bless you Father Z, shepherds like you strengthen hope.

    May the Holy Spirit be with you all and strengthen us for the trials to come.

  42. Thomas says:


    You and I are in very similar, but not identical, situations with our families. I try to only look at my own situation as a gift from God to help me advance in the spiritual life, and try to remember to thank Him for everything, especially suffering. It’s especially painful when prayers seem to be unanswered. I have found St. Alphonse Liguori’s short work Uniformity with God’s Will immensely helpful. Perhaps others do too.

  43. Jim says:

    My prediction for what it is worth: The persecution is coming. The sheep will be separated from the goats. There will be new schisms, but also healings of old schisms, notable between Catholic and Orthodox. The new schisms will divide the heirarchy as well as the laity. The See of Peter will become a rallying point for the orthodox.

  44. Kevin says:

    Nice video, only one problem. The apocalypse for this country and Western civilization in general is already over.
    There’s nothing to “conserve” and only a tiny minuscule want a restoration of any sort. This civilization is dead, has been for a while now. Everything that has to do with it – it’s ideas and structures must pass away completely. Nothing that hasn’t died can ever be resurrected.
    What’s left to do is to plan for the future, when this walking corpse actually falls down it will be messy. The rebuilding process may take far longer than the 350 years that elapsed from the sack of Rome until the coronation of Charlemagne. Who knows how long it will take. God will mete out his mercy and His justice as He sees fit.
    I’d saying moving might be a good idea, but I don’t think you can escape it that way. Here is as good as any place to do whatever you can to raise your children in the faith and hope in the Lord.

  45. Barb says:

    When I got home from picking my daughter up at the bus stop, I found that our dear neighbor had left 4 bags of
    groceries for a full thanksgiving dinner (including a nicely sized turkey). She knows something of our
    financial woes and she has responded in a truly christian charitable way. I was deeply touched by her loving
    help and I have more hope for our nation for it. Sounds silly I guess, but I know there are many more christians
    out here than our enemies would like to think.
    Sometime soon, the complacency will be gone and I believe that Heaven will be stormed with prayers that will have
    miraculous effects. Suffering brings out the worst in those who are more inclined to evil, but it brings out
    the very best in those more inclined to God’s love and grace.

    The battle lines are drawn and we shall see the split between the warring sides, just pray very hard for those
    on the wrong side. Pray for the conversion of sinners and offer up sacrifices for them. That is the only way
    we will see Our Lady’s victory. Leave the broken cisterns.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  46. Thomas says:

    From conclusion to Uniformity with God’s Will, St. Alphonse Liguori (this seems to pertain to the difficulties at hand):

    “Above all, let us bend all our energies to serve God in the way he wishes. This remark is made so that we may avoid the mistake of him who wastes his time in idle day-dreaming. Such a one says, “If I were to become a hermit, I would become a saint” or “If I were to enter a monastery, I would practice penance” or “If I were to go away from here, leaving friends and companions, I would devote long hours to prayer.” If, If, If — all these if’s! In the meantime such a person goes from bad to worse. These idle fancies are often temptations of the devil, because they are not in accord with God’s will. Hence we should dismiss them summarily and rouse ourselves to serve God only in that way which he has marked out for us. Doing his holy will, we shall certainly become holy in those surroundings in which he has placed us.”

  47. Chris says:

    Father is right, it’s bad. Not sure if we’ve hit the bottom, but it could get worse.

    Brian is also right — if people were listening to Bishop Williamson years ago, we wouldn’t have been blindsided. It serves us well to look back and see now what we didn’t see then. And to not dismiss people like the SSPX elders who have an informed world view and keep history always in their minds.

  48. Matt of South Kent says:

    In many ways these postings must sound like the Romans when the first barbarians reached the gates of Rome.

    I agree with Kevin, the collapse is in its final stage, the persecution is coming. A new dark age is coming when the Church will again have to safe guard knowledge and truth.

    I am not afraid. In fact, I am very hopeful. (Faith of Our Fathers)

  49. Patrick says:


    What are you talking about? Do you know American history and the true spirit of this nation?

    The following is the text of a speech that Abraham Lincoln gave on the day that he signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation.

    Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

    It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures
    and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the LORD.

    We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

    We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

    But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to, feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

    It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

    –Abraham Lincoln – October 3, 1863

    Regarding the video, it is preaching to the choir and IS corny with the Rocky musac. Anxiety is NOT an option for Christians, and read the Book, in the end WE WIN!!

    What is man that thou art mindful of him? We need to take that to heart. Our problem is ourselves, and / or our leadership for not believing what it is we preach (when we do actually preach).

    According to Karl, maybe this is a sort of Pauline privelege you have been afforded. If God gave the Church the keys (to do even bad things, I guess) I would say you are not bound. I have gone through the similar circumstance. Why would you want to be tied to an adulterer anyway?

  50. Paul Q says:

    Here is a link to post-election commentary by Mark Miravalle of Franciscan University:

    He offers a remedy for our modern malaise through the intercessory pray of Our Lady. Very inspiring.


  51. DirtyCopper says:

    An important and timely reminder that we are soldiers of Christ!

  52. Matt of South Kent says:


    Do you think the Obama administration will be guided by the same principles of the Lincoln administration?

    Lincoln believed in human rights, endowed by God. President Obama believes in civil rights granted by the government (actually, endowed by the courts who disregard the will of the people – watch Prop 8 in California).

    I am sure President Obama would read the speech well.

  53. Nana says:

    Fr Z, thank you for this. I know many others who say the same, and I am in complete agreement.

    Off topic, but I feel a need to respond, as one who also stands for a valid marriage after man’s forced divorce:

    Comment by Patrick:
    “According to Karl, maybe this is a sort of Pauline privelege you have been afforded. If God gave the Church the keys (to do even bad things, I guess) I would say you are not bound. I have gone through the similar circumstance. Why would you want to be tied to an adulterer anyway?”

    Because he is married to her, in a VALID marriage according to the Roman Rota, until death parts them. This is what is vowed on the wedding day. He is, therefore, bound. Rome has spoken. Twice. I would listen to Rome’s opinion over yours any day. Read 1Cor 7:10-12, with emphasis on the fact that it is what the Lord Himself says, not Paul.

  54. Henry Edwards says:

    Why not download this video to your laptop, take it to church Sunday, and invite people to watch it in the narthex (sic) after Mass — which is what I plan to do.

  55. Maureen says:

    I think there is a lot of bad stuff going on, and a lot of bad stuff coming. And yet, when I think about the future, I feel a great deal of hope and joy and peace.

    That said, I’m pretty whiny about bad stuff when it occurs. :)

  56. Ave Maria says:

    I have read the ‘Michael O’Brien stuff” and found it on the far-fetched side. I really liked Father Elijah though. And now perhaps it is not looking so far fetched for the other works.

    I recommend a book that the Holy Father has also been known to recommend–LORD OF THE WORLD by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson. It is an incredibly prophetic book written in the early 1900s. Yes, religion is outlawed once again in a future time.

    But there is nothing new under the sun. The French revolution, the Spanish Civil War, Communism, Nasism and all the other terrible events exhibited a demonic hatred agains the Catholic Church and all things sacred. Why should we be exempt from the opportunity to prove our love?

    In the movie on St. Maximilian, the masons are marching in Rome in 1917 and promising to bring down the Church. What does this seminarian do? He founds the Militia of the Immaculate. Yes, a spiritual army. And later in Germany when the forces of hell are gathering what does he do? He prays and worships and thus he is given the strength to stand fast even to the giving of his very life.

    We must keep an eye on God in all things. We have had soft and chushy lives–at least I have. I can only hope that I can remain faithful. God has given us so many opportunities and we have the sacramental life to turn to–daily Mass, regular confession, daily prayer and rosary and adoration. Let us use our spiritual weapons in this battle approaching. (and yes, we can protest and write letters and all other legal things but this is spiritual warfare after all)

  57. Mark says:

    Marxism is a very sophisticated evil that has the ability to adapt itself to various cultures and ways of life. In the beginning it points to what may be that culture’s legitimate shortcomings and problems. As it gets stronger, it places increasing demands on individuals to give up their “selfish” attachments to family and friends, abandon the “superstitious” belief in God, and most importantly, to give up one’s conscience and free choice, and submit to the “true” moral voice of the collective. The voice of this collective is the state and its organs, the “real” alpha and omega of one’s existence. History also shows that such states considered many to be unworthy to enter into the life of its collective.

    In this context, Father Z wrote: “Catholics had to make choices behind the iron and bamboo curtains”.

    I hope that in the future Father Z will continue writing with increasing clarity and detail as to what these choices are.

  58. momof8 says:

    “The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not; whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not; whether blood will have to be shed we know not; whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.”

    Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  59. Howard says:


    Sure I know American history, though Lincoln is not one of my heroes. But I’m not going to chase a stick just because you toss it.

    My point is that yes, Obama will be bad, but he will not be the first bad president we’ve had. The most disturbing things about him are not even his funding of abortion. To a greater or lesser extent, we’ve had that for a long time, with “pro-life” presidents who would rather talk about restructuring social security (needs to be done, but didn’t happen) or going to Mars (nice, but won’t happen — it would probably cost around $1 trillion to do this “safely”), or just about anything else. The Republicans are very pro-life when it’s fund-raising time or when an election looks desperate — but not when they govern. And even Obama is not yet talking about forced abortions like they have in China. Those may come, eventually, probably “justified” by “environmental concerns”.

    No. The most alarming thing about Obama is the Messianic cult of personality that has built up around him, AND the fact that he himself seems to buy into that. In his interview on his religious beliefs, he showed great confusion between getting into an oratorical “groove” and the Holy Spirit. Whether he is worshiping himself, or the cause of the Left, or Big Government, or whatever, it looks disturbingly like some form of idolatry is directed toward him by others and by him toward … something. That always ends badly.

    So far everyone is still probably with me. BUT … Obama is not entirely unique in this. George W. Bush has clearly shown hints of some sort of weird idolatry of the United States. (And no; Uncle Sam is not an icon of the Pantocrator.) I’ll concede that Bush may not have written these parts of his speeches (many, many times it is clear that politicians see their speeches for the first time when they are giving them), but he did give those speeches — and he didn’t fire the speechwriter for it. If he had, one such expression might have slipped through, but not two.

    Yet how many of those ready to head for the hills under an Obama presidency were trying to convince their neighbors that they had a moral obligation to vote for Bush in 2000 and 2004? As though voting for a lesser evil were not still choosing evil.

    Bush’s own weird ideas of the deified status of the USA tie into the problems ahead under Obama, just as his accumulation of extraconstitutional and unconstitutional powers will make Obama more dangerous. But where were the complaints when it was a Republican doing damage to the country?

    In the end, if we have survived Bush, we have a decent chance of surviving Obama. The first year will tell all. After that, the economic crisis, which won’t be going away, and looming problems with Pakistan, Iran, Russia, etc. that can’t be dispelled by a beaming smile will begin tearing him down. He will lose significant support in the midterm elections, and probably end up more-or-less like Carter. It is his first year, when all the media and all of politics will be telling us how everything he does is so great that it could not possibly be improved, that he will be most dangerous.

    Finally, your appeal to American history reminds me of the scene in the movie Sergeant York in which York expressed his belief that the Bible teaches that Christians ought not to take part in war. The recruiter responded with words to the effect that, “Well, the Bible is a good book, but here’s another good book: The History of the United States.” York takes the book home and reads it, and he is convinced. I certainly hope nothing like that happened in the real world, because although I disagree religious pacifism, I disagree much, much more with national idolatry.

  60. shadrach says:

    Fight and pray using all means that are just. But remember, if the example of the Passion taught us anything it is that what looks and feels like abject failure and defeat under the shadow of death ends in the greatest triumph. The real triumph. Not the fleeting political triumph of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Those who ate manna are now dead. Even those who looked like they were in a Norman Rockwell paintings.

    Sarsfield said: Catholics in America are and have for the most part always been weak, because they have looked to their country first, and then to their Church. Some have even tried to remake the Church in America’s image.

    I think the concept of the American Dream and the type of patriotism that is found in America can tend to the idolatrous. So therefore when the trends in American public life lead to an assault on the Truth, it can feel like an abysmal disaster and lead some American Catholics to the brink of despair. Never despair. The Church was born out of the catacombs.

  61. Luis says:

    I rather like Bill Conti… and it was Rocky I, which was a pretty good movie. I found the short clip very inspiring. Thank you Father.

  62. ED says:

    I need some advice. Should I sign the online fight FOCA petition? I can’t see any reason not to. Does anyone else?


  63. Bruce says:

    So says Jesus Christ: “Do not fear those who can kill the body and then has no more power over you. I will tell you whom to fear. Fear him who has power to destroy both body and soul in Hell.”

    So says St. Peter, the first pope: “The Devil, like a roaring lion, is going through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”

    So says St. Paul: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of wickedness in high places.”

    So said Pope Leo the XIII, who received a vision of the 20th century that history has proved terrifyingly true. He saw Satan, at the beginning of time, allowed one century in which to do his worst work, and he chose the 20th. This pope with the name and heart of a lion was so overcome by the terror of this vision that he fell into a trance. When he awoke, he composed a prayer for the whole Church to use to get it through the 20th century. The prayer was widely known and prayed after every Mass—until the ’60s: exactly when the Church was struck with that incomparably swift disaster that we have not yet named (but which future historians will), the disaster that has destroyed a third of our priests, two-thirds of our nuns, and nine-tenths of our children’s theological knowledge; the disaster that has turned the faith of our fathers into the doubts of our dissenters, the wine of the Gospel into the water of psychobabble.

    The restoration of the Church, and thus the world, might well begin with the restoration of the Lion’s prayer and the Lion’s vision, because this is the vision of all the popes and all the saints and our Lord himself: the vision of a real Hell, a real Satan, and real spiritual warfare.

    -Peter Kreeft

    Saint Michael the Archangel,
    defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
    and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
    by the Divine Power of God –
    cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
    who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


  64. Padre Steve says:

    I am glad that you posted this as well. I think this battle is one we are ill prepared for… but, the Spirit will have to make up for our weakness! We have been blessed with the teaching of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Now the Church needs another Archbishop Sheen to take the message to the people! Let’s pray we can be steadfast!

  65. Rancher says:

    Sign the petitiion. The more who do the more BO will at least know not everyone bends willingly to his wishes.

  66. little gal says:

    For anyone (in the Chicago area) who needs a spiritual lift after the election and the recent economic news…St. Mary of the Angels will have their annual Novena Mass to the Immaculate Conception beginning on November 30th. I attended last year and the homilies and music were wonderful. Here is the link. Click on Special Events.

  67. Gometius says:

    Why is there only commentary on abortion and little or no mention of the death penalty when we speak of pro life advocacy? The Church clearly is not an advocate of the death penalty. Does the US Conference of Catholic Bishops oppose the death penalty as well? Why are these issues not tied together? Why haven’t they been?

    On another note, I am disappointed in the propagation of fear that has arisen here. I have truly enjoyed the enlightening discussions and informative posts from Fr. Z. Great leaders foster hope and give direction, especially in challenging times.

  68. ED says:

    Regarding my earlier question about signing the petition, I’m only asking because I’ve learned the past few weeks on this blog that some organizations that I always thought were worthy of support may have some hidden agendas that go against Catholic teaching, so now I’m trying to be careful about what I support. I just would hate to put my name on that and then read here later that we shouldn’t support Americans United for Life (whose project it is) for whatever reasons. That’s why I’m asking in advance, since I trust people here know a lot more about things like that than I do.


  69. Mike says:

    Regarding your question, Fr. Z, in regard to Brian Mershon’s post earlier in the thread, in which you ask what his point is, I think the point is rather easy to see.
    When people associated with SSPX state that the Church has gone to hell in a handbasket (excuse the term but you know what I mean) they are dismissed as alarmist and lunatic fringe.
    When you say the same thing but couch it in more politically correct and palatable terms, are we now supposed to fall over ourselves in awe at the wisdom of your words? Do you really believe you are saying anything fundamentally different?
    Certainly your statement “Just watch as leaders in the Church start to line up on different sides. Some will apply huge pressure, canonical, financial, psychological, to clerics who decide to stand up and speak an unambiguous message rooted in Catholic teaching” shows that something’s rotten in Denmark, as Shakespeare wrote.
    Just at what point can we start criticizing those appointed by God to lead his flock?

  70. Luis says:

    The use of the death penalty is not morally equivilant to the horror that is abortion. Please correct me if this is not the teaching of the Church. The issues are not “tied together” because they are not related. I am opposed to the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment in the United States. I am also opposed to the use of the death penalty as a way of blurring the reality of the the murder of millions of innocent and helpless infants through abortion.

    On another note, I am disappointed that you are disappointed with the fact that Catholics are being called to behave like Catholics and practice the Faith. We are AFRAID that the FOCA will increase number of abortions and include the practice of infantcide. Surely, you are not suggesting that we ignore such a real and present danger.

  71. John says:

    A few days before “W” was elected the first time, in 2000, I had the following dream:

    “I’m at a cocktail party in Georgetown (Wash. DC) surrounded by heavy hitters, wondering what I’m doing in such company. I walked up to a general and a senator and asked them if they’d like to make a little bet with me. The senator is offended and huffs off, but the general asks me what I’m talking about. I say to him, ‘I’ll bet you that in one or two administrations from now (‘now’ being November of 2000), the United States will be attacked, probably by China. Our military will be too depleted to repel the attack, and we will have to call upon NATO forces to do the job. NATO troops will occupy the country, and that is how the US will finally succumb to the New World Order.’ The general thought a moment, and then replied that he didn’t think my scenario was likely, since NATO would not have any weapons that the US hadn’t already developed. I woke up in a cold sweat.”

    For several years after that, I tried to figure out how the US military could possibly be too depleted to repel a Chinese attack…until I watched the so-called “war on terror” develop in the Middle East.

    It seems that 100-year anniversaries of Marian apparitions have a special significance, which would make the year 2017 quite important. Whether that year will see the punishment “greater than the deluge,” as Fr. Marie-Paul has posted above, or the beginning of a global totalitarian terror that will end in said punishment, I couldn’t begin to guess.

  72. Rancher says:

    As noted the Church teaches that abortion is always wrong. The Church further teaches that under some limited circustances the death penalty may not be wrong. The U S Bishops are on record as generally opposing the death penalty. The Church has a similar position on war. Under some rather restrictive circumstances war may be morally justified.

    While all of those issues do involve respect for life the issue of abortion is rather basic. If life is not allowed to develop (i.e. be born) the other issues are rather moot. How can we develop a proper perspective on issues such as the death penalty, euthanasia, and war if we cannot begin with not murdering fetuses. Actually in the U S A it is no longer a matter of simply murdering a fetus. We have gotten to the point of attempting to legalize infanticide…

  73. Jason Keener says:

    Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft’s article “How to Win the Culture War”:

    Check it out.

  74. Jason Keener says:


    Abortion is the worst kind of evil we face because abortion is the intentional killing of an entire group of innocent people—-the unborn. Abortion is truly a genocide in progress. Millions of innocents have been killed with the consent of their mothers. What could be worse?

    The death penalty and our current Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though important, do not take precedence over abortion because neither the death penalty nor the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan involve the destruction of an entire class of totally innocent human beings.

  75. TerryN says:

    Thanks very much for posting this Father. I agree. United in prayer, Terry

  76. John R. says:

    Catholics need to be willing to engage in the same sort of passive resistance against secular tyranny that Martin Luther King Jr. employed against Southern racism.

    St.Thomas Aquinas said that an unjust law is no law.

  77. Ann says:

    I think Fr. Z is very correct that difficult times are coming. My greatest fear is that people will not pray.

    The night of the election I told my friends that the United States is Germany before WWII and we just elected a Hitler.

    I’m praying.

    These are stressful times. May God have mercy on us.

  78. RCABSem says:

    Having read the posts, the following thought occured, take from it whatever is good. In my freshmen year at BC High, our Religion Teacher made us memorize the Suscipe (Oblatio Sui)of Saint Ignatius, but we didn’t know it was called that; the title we learned was the “PRAYER OF A SOLDIER OF CHRIST”. Let’s make this one of our many battle cries in the upcoming struggle:
    “Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me: I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.”
    God save the United States.
    God preserve the Church.

  79. Eric says:

    I’m an infrequent visitor to Fr Z’s blog, but I’m kind of disappointed in this post, and in many of the responses to it. I agree: we need to oppose FOCA. This kind of emotionalism, though, really turns me off. This fight, and the fight to defend the faith, is both sober and a testament to human dignity. The ends (opposing more unjust laws) do not justify the means (emotionalism).

    On the apprehension many express: I’ve heard a quote attributed to Pope Pius XII on those who wished to use vernacular in the Mass: “The day the Church forsakes Latin will be the day before She re-enters the catacombs.”

    I agree with those who say the Church in the US is interiorly divided — with many (most?) clerics on the wrong side of the divide. I have heard a saying “One of the surest signs of God’s anger against His people is bad priests.”

    If the Church in the US undergoes persecution, it seems likely to purify it. If real presecution comes, it seems very likely that those within our ranks (religious or lay) who don’t believe the totality of the faith will jump ship pretty quick. If you won’t defend the faith when all you have to face is hard words and the loss of the approval of secular liberals, how likely are you to continue to associate with it if you have to physically suffer or die for it?

  80. Patrick says:


    Nice of you to respond. I am thinking you probably (and some others as well) missed my basic point and another that just seemed to piggy back right along and maybe not coincidentally. The first would be the idea that the today’s abortion holocaust and the situation regarding the slaves in Lincoln’s day have often be cited as parallel morally in certain respects, and I, concerning this idea, happen to concur. This lets us read this proclamation and see it in some respects as if it was written for our times, substituting ‘abortion’ for ‘slavery’ as written. Not that much of a stretch, except for the irony that you bring up, that this sort of rhetoric with is stark acknowledgment of God in boldly Christian terms when uttered today can and does draw the ire of many, even Christians (I’ll assume this is you), especially those so steeped in the anti Bush reactive sentimentality so cherished by the left, that just veers so beyond the bounds of a fair reading of history. (I am glad this is not you).

    So even if Bush is the bumbling idiot you (seemingly, though I am sure with good reason) proclaim, his “religious” infusion of his speeches is far short of the virtual preaching of Lincoln, and yet you consider it (Bush’s ) out of bounds. So this is my appeal to history, and, as you and, indeed, all students of history know, the founding fathers used this kind of appeal to the religious bent of the American people regularly and unapologetically, (and that is my appeal, as you know, to the spirit of America, especially throughout our history) but which I would assume you might disapprove, as you have concerning Mr. Bush. Now can you explain the apparent dissonance here? Thanks.

    Matt of South Kent,

    My comment is not really concerned with Obama and how he will govern (or as one of his aides said, “rule,” [interesting word choice]). No attempt to connect the two at all, and nobody should be so bold (not saying this is you) as to draw comparisons between a new comer to the political stage who has not really produced a body of work (save two memoirs) and the greatest president in Am. history.


  81. Mark says:


    You raise the question of emotionalism, and whether it will detract us from soberly and incisively appraising our situation. I would say that for now we should allow this to be. It’s a normal first psychological reaction to a situation that is perceived as threatening. Few, if any of us, are exempt from experiencing “emotionalism” in such cases. Also, when surrounded, as we now seem to be, it is a sign of good leadership to let everyone know the true situation, so that we’re not panicked as things progress.

    I hope that as time goes on, and our situation clarifies itself, this emotionalism will be put aside. A lot depends now on the leadership of Father Z, and we should pray for him. He has developed quite a following with his blog, and the responsibility that goes with it . A lot also depends on us, and how well are we prepared to teach our Faith to those who don’t know it, or don’t want to know it?

    We’re in the big leagues now. Perhaps you’ll consider becoming a regular player.

  82. m~ says:

    Life in these United states will soon be over as we know it, one way or another:

    FOCA will not just turn around every legislative stand the prolife movement has made, but I have read pro-death blogs and articles from Planned Parenthood whining about Crisis pregnancy centers that are proliferating all over the country. Those are very successful in the war against abortion. when given a real choice, women will chose life.

    But FOCA isn’t the only thing we need to worry about. This same sex marriage situation should have all of our hair standing on the back of our necks. The homosexual cabal are getting more and more violent. The left has always presumed that they have the right to teach our children as they see fit, and are now getting bolder and bolder.

    I have to honestly say, I’m personally frightened.

    And please do not tell me God is “in control’…I KNOW that.
    But I also know that the same God who is in control allowed Christians to be sent to the Lions, he allowed Nazi Germany to rise, Mao Zedung to rise, and the same God in control is allowing Christians to be burned to death in India even now, not to mention all the other places in the world where Christians are really suffering.

    Hello folks…I think we in America are delusional if we think we are going to get special treatment from the Almighty and be delivered from the worst of it somehow by some deus ex machina rapture or something.

    I’m not trying to be a doomsdayer…but when we are looking at the gathering of demons that is happening now, we better be paying attention and not be wasting our last few months, maybe a year of free speech talking about politics.

    Its beyond politics now and we better be getting ready for our time of visitation.

    Pray.and fast.

    Jn 15:16
    It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

    Christ is a divine judge with a human heart, a judge who wants to give life. Only unrepentant attachment to evil can prevent him from offering this gift, for which he did not hesitate to face death. —Pope John Paul II, General Audience, Wednesday, 22 April 1998

  83. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    To all Americans, your overseas friends are with you.

    As many people have pointed out already, the picture of Pope John Paul II with those words, which he so often spoke, “Be not afraid”, made this video. In the hope that he now rests with the Father, how can we not turn to him for support, especially when his last days with us gave example of everything he said about life?

    With his support, and the knowledge that the Church always has a Peter on earth to lead us, together with the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, how can we fail? These moments are tests of our faith because, when the earthly political scene looks bad, it tempts us to despair.

  84. Rev. Br. Andrew, OP says:

    Eric’s comments are well stated at the end of his post. I am teaching the Beatitudes in class now (High school morality, what I refer to as “mission territory”) and the last one of the eight needs to be ever in our minds and hearts. We will be persecuted more and more each day. Are we going to absorb the blows as our Savior did?

    I live and minister in Chicago, which is possibly the most Catholic city in North America and it whole-heatedly voted for a candidate who will actively bring the culture of death to it’s pinnacle moment. What is happening? The chaff and the wheat will be sifted very soon. Pray and prepare!

  85. Tito Edwards says:

    Ed and everyone else thinking of signing the ‘open letter’ to Obama concerning FOCA,

    I would like to sign the letter, but I don’t like the glowing adoration it gives to President-elect Obama. In addition, some of the ‘Vox Nova’ signers promoted Obama’s candidacy as well as voted for him. Yes, the original signers of this ‘open letter’ have abused their particular standing as prominent bloggers, as akin to Douglas Kmiec, to promote Obama AND voted for him.

    So I myself am hesitant to sign the letter.

    It’s more the messenger that is disingenuous rather than the letter.

  86. SC says:

    Eric, you should stop by more often! I read this blog because Fr. Z has the unique ability to present the TLM to my generation as a treasure to be discovered. In my opinion the emotionalism is natural. We are human beings. The ends may not justify the means as you say, but how about the ‘end’ justifying the apprehension? Do you think those who face persecution are all stoics? On this Feast of my patron, St. Cecilia, I asked her to be with me. I came home from Mass to read this on the news: Vatican Cardinal: “A New World Order is Gaining Ground” the link is:

    My generation has had nothing but milk from the pulpit and scandal for 40 years! Feel good about yourself and all will be right with the world was the standard Sunday Homily. Sheep without shepherds are fearful indeed when the wolf appears. If I misinterpret your meaning, forgive me. I am no intellectual, but by the Grace of God I was raised by parents who handed on to me the Deposit of the Faith and removed me and my younger siblings from Catholic schools when they saw the scandalous behavior of nuns and priests in our city.

    I read everything in my parents’ library and then built my own. My siblings who attended Catholic schools all the way through college disdain the Rosary today and do not accept the teachings of the Church in many areas They are very unwilling to ‘face hard words or to endure the loss of the approval of secular liberals.’ They think I am nuts for loving the TLM and consider it a relic their generation discarded. I want them to be saved too! It is not easy to explain the faith to them again and again as they mock it. I usually fail.

    I hear those who attend the TLM criticize JPII often, but to my generation he was a light, a father and a true shepherd. We need to get fired up now so we are NOT afraid of the future and to me this video is a small step in that direction. Besides, I am a sucker for the Rocky theme every time.

  87. Andreas says:

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    “675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

    676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. the Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.”

    The way I read it: every time I put my hope in temporal “earthly” happiness, I toy with this “deception”. My hope is in the resurrection and in the reward of the just. Not in any political “success”. My commitment to God’s law must be the foundation of my life. “You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods”. Someone might be very wealthy: but I cannot desire his wealth. To some this might sound like defeat: like a lack of commitment to social justice: but it is nothing other in fact than following the ten commandments. When I hear statements like: “everyone has a right to affordable medical care” I wonder what that’s supposed to mean. Why should a poor person have the right to be cared for by a wealthy doctor? I don’t get it.

  88. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    What it means is that as a person you have the right to anything needed to preserve your life. If you are dying and can be treated by doctor and the doctor treats you the doctor has performed an act of justice. He has not performed an act of charity. It would be completely within your rights to hold a gun to the doctor’s head and force him to treat you. [?!?] St. Thomas on whether it is lawful to steal through stress or need:

    “Things which are of human right cannot derogate from natural right or Divine right. Now according to the natural order established by Divine Providence, inferior things are ordained for the purpose of succoring man’s needs by their means. Wherefore the division and appropriation of things which are based on human law, do not preclude the fact that man’s needs have to be remedied by means of these very things. Hence whatever certain people have in superabundance is due, by natural law, to the purpose of succoring the poor. For this reason Ambrose [Loc. cit., 2, Objection 3] says, and his words are embodied in the Decretals (Dist. xlvii, can. Sicut ii): “It is the hungry man’s bread that you withhold, the naked man’s cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man’s ransom and freedom.”

    “Since, however, there are many who are in need, while it is impossible for all to be succored by means of the same thing, each one is entrusted with the stewardship of his own things, so that out of them he may come to the aid of those who are in need. Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.” [Take his property, I can see. But kill the other person? I wonder. My children are hungry, therefore I get to kill you? I am bleeding. Stop the bleeding or I will kill you?]

    I would be careful of privately interpreting the ten commandments. Many Protestants mock the teaching of the Church on this issue, because the have no real foundation in theology. Be careful who you read on these issues. The arguments sound convincing, but the Church clearly states they are wrong.

  89. Andreas says:


    “It would be completely within your rights to hold a gun to the doctor’s head and force him to treat you.”


  90. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    Did you miss this part from St. Thomas:

    ” Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.”

  91. Brian Kopp says:

    From Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade:

    SECTION XII.—The Triumph of Humility.

    To the souls which are faithful to Him, God promises a glorious victory over the powers of the world and of hell.

    If the divine action is hidden here below under the appearance of weakness, it is in order to increase the merit of souls which are faithful to it; but its triumph is none the less certain.

    The history of the world from the beginning is but the history of the struggle between the powers of the world, and of hell, against the souls which are humbly devoted to the divine action. In this struggle all the advantage seems to be on the side of pride, yet the victory always remains with humility. The image of the world is always presented to our eyes as a statue of gold, brass, iron, and clay. This mystery of iniquity, shown in a dream to Nabuchodonosor, is nothing but a confused medley of all the actions, interior and exterior, of the children of darkness. This is also typified by the beast coming out of the pit to make war, from the beginning of time, against the interior and spiritual life of man. All that takes place in our days is the consequence of this war. Monster follows monster out of the pit, which swallows, and vomits them forth again amidst incessant clouds of smoke. The combat between St. Michael and Lucifer, that began in Heaven, still continues. The heart of this once magnificent angel, has become, through envy, an inexhaustible abyss of every kind of evil. He made angel revolt against angel in Heaven, and from the creation of the world his whole energy is exerted to make more criminals among men to fill the ranks of those who have been swallowed up in the pit. Lucifer is the chief of those who refuse obedience to the Almighty. This mystery of iniquity is the very inversion of the order of God; it is the order, or rather, the disorder of the devil.

    This disorder is a mystery because, under a false appearance of good, it hides irremediable and infinite evil. Every wicked man, who, from the time of Cain, up to the present moment, has 92declared war against God, has outwardly been great and powerful, making a great stir in the world, and being worshiped by all. But this outward semblance is a mystery. In reality they are beasts which have ascended from the pit one after another to overthrow the order of God. But this order, which is another mystery, has always opposed to them really great and powerful men who have dealt these monsters a mortal wound. As fast as hell vomits them forth, Heaven at the same time creates fresh heroes to combat them. Ancient history, sacred and profane, is but a record of this war. The order of God has ever remained victorious and those who have ranged themselves on the side of God have shared His triumph, and are happy for all eternity. Injustice has never been able to protect deserters. It can reward them only by death, an eternal death.

    Those who practise iniquity imagine themselves invincible. O God! who can resist You? If a single soul has the whole world and all hell against it, it need have no fear if, by abandonment, it takes its stand on the side of God and His order.

    The monstrous spectacle of wickedness armed with so much power, the head of gold, the body of silver, brass, and iron, is nothing more than the image of clay; a small stone cast at it will scatter it to the four winds of Heaven.

    How wonderfully has the Holy Spirit illustrated the centuries of the world! So many startling revelations! so many renowned heroes following each other like so many brilliant stars! So many wonderful events!

    All this is like the dream of Nabuchodonosor, forgotten on awaking, however terrible the impression it made at the time.

    All these monsters only come into the world to exercise the courage of the children of God, and if these are well trained, God gives them the pleasure of slaying the monsters, and sends fresh athletes into the arena.

    And this life is a spectacle to angels, causing continual joy in Heaven, work for saints on earth, and confusion to the devils in hell.

    So all that is opposed to the order of God renders it only the more to be adored. All workers of iniquity are slaves of justice, and the divine action builds the heavenly Jerusalem on the ruins of Babylon.

  92. glenna says:

    Cathy Dawson, I’m with you on this…My armor’s on, now what?

  93. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Sorry Father and Andreas,

    I do not believe you can kill him. I was trying to point out that I believe you can use force to get him to comply.

  94. Barb says:

    If you are starving and in need of nourishment to sustain your life you are allowed to take what you need
    WITHOUT VIOLENCE, with the full intention of repaying the unwilling “donor” at the soonest time possible.
    You are NEVER allowed to do violence to such persons.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  95. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    That’s not what St. Thomas says, and I have never seen the Church say that. Perhaps you could give us a reference? The Church seems clear, what the person has in superabundance that you have a dire need for DOES NOT belong to him, but belongs to you by justice. You do not have to repay what belongs to you. If it does belong to you, you have the same right to use force to take it as any owner has to defend his property.

  96. Karl says:

    I would believe the position that to be UNWILLING to provide from ones stores that which one can, justly and even, sacrificially, without grave harm to oneself, provide, as regards authentic need, is ALREADY an act of OFFENSIVE VIOLENCE, which may be met, appropriately, with an act of EQUAL DEFENSIVE VIOLENCE in order to provide for ones needs. It seems to me that such is justice.

  97. Brian Kopp says:

    “what the person has in superabundance that you have a dire need for DOES NOT belong to him, but belongs to you by justice. You do not have to repay what belongs to you. If it does belong to you, you have the same right to use force to take it as any owner has to defend his property.”

    Sounds more like liberation theology than Catholic theology. I’ll need more than just your assertion that this is true. Otherwise, we can all use Marxist ideology to justify wholesale redistribution of wealth. Of course, the question then becomes, who gets to define that which constitutes dire need.

  98. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    Marxism is class warfare, and an attempt to level all classes of society. This is not the case in the example. This is an individual in dire need providing for himself what is required for life, something that another person is required to give him by justice. The Marxists have perverted this teaching in an attempt to deny that classes in society are good and willed by God. Because a truth can be perverted, does not mean it is not true. Do you agree with the quote form St. Thomas given earlier?

  99. SC says:

    Fr. Z,
    Could you please comment? With all due respect, Christopher, that sounds nuts to me.

  100. Brian Kopp says:

    “classes in society are good and willed by God”

    Classes in society seem more an effect of Original Sin than something willed by God; maybe I’m guilty of Americanism or some other sundry -ism, but frankly this line sounds a bit off too. Maybe Fr. Z could comment on this too, though it may be carrying the original thread far astray.

  101. Christopher Sarsfield says:


    If you could elaborate on which portions sound nuts, I could probably address them with citations from Church, if that would help.

  102. RBrown says:

    Classes in society seem more an effect of Original Sin than something willed by God; maybe I’m guilty of Americanism or some other sundry -ism, but frankly this line sounds a bit off too. Maybe Fr. Z could comment on this too, though it may be carrying the original thread far astray.
    Comment by Brian Kopp

    How could classes be the consequence of Original Sin?

  103. michigancatholic says:

    Maybe when times get bad enough, the Catholic church will finally re-find herself, get some guts and act like the Catholic church again. Maybe she’ll quit pandering and whining and tryng to make points with these murderers and act like truth is important, because it is.

  104. michigancatholic says:

    UM, Christopher, you could start at the first word and explain the whole thing. It’s all nuts. And none of it is Christian–Marxist, more like it. Stop drinking the KoolAid, buddy.

  105. insouicesancekills says:

    I stood in front of Rabbi Yehuda Levin, Founder Jews for Morality, January 22, 2008 at the 2008 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

    Prophetically, Nellie Gray, the organizer of the March for Life collapsed on-stage immediately before Rabbi Levin’s speech.

    Watch the Catholic Bishops gathering behind him as he speaks passionately, begging for his “challenge” to reach the ears of the Pope!

    Hear him chant repeatedly and passionately “Are we doing enough for these babies?” “Of course not!”

    Hear his “One Jew’s four-part plan:” to stop abortions and prevent electing an OBAMA-type candidate in the coming election!

    1) Supreme Court can right-the-wrong and reverse the barbarism now!
    2) President Bush can use bully pulpit to speak out for life and for babies and for God-ordained Marriage!
    3) Call on Pro-Life Governors to act now to shut down/ use police powers to shut down abortion clinics NOW! Can “half” the numbers of abortions TOMORROW!
    4) Pope Benedict XVI: lead an interreligious gathering in the streets of New York! Call for the leaders of the Evangelicals, the Jews, and everyone else to gather and in unity declare “It is forbidden to vote for any pro-abortion/ pro-deviance marriage candidate!”

    The Pope either never got his message from the Bishops in-attendance or he though it would be too “political” for him to join with other pro-Life leaders and try to steer the coming Presidential election…

  106. insouicesancekills says:

    Comments by Fr. Marie-Paul — 21 November 2008 @ 3:03 pm gave the prophesy from Our Lady of Akita, Japan: Prophesy which reinforces that from Our Lady of Fatima in 1917.

    [From Akita webpage] In 1984, just before retiring at a venerable age, the diocesan Bishop of Niigata, Bishop John ShojiroIto, in consultation with the Holy See, wrote a pastoral letter in which he recognized as being authentically of the Mother of God, the extraordinary series of events that had taken place from 1973 to 1981 in a little lay convent within his diocese, at Akita, Japan. Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in June 1988, approved the Akita events as “reliable and worthy of belief”. In fact the Philippine ambassador to the Vatican, in 1998 spoke to Cardinal Ratzinger about Akita and the Cardinal: “personally confirmed to me that these two messages of Fatima and Akita are essentially the same”. Hence in Akita we are dealing with a Church approved intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary as sure in this respect as Lourdes, La Salette, or Fatima.

    Only a few Catholics know of Our Lady of Akita but the message, like that of Fatima, is a specific warning of worldwide chastisement. The chastisement threatened is truly terrible – far worse than the possibility of annihilation of several nations prophesied at Fatima. Akita is absolutely consistent with prophecies of Scripture.

    The first message received by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa on June 6, 1973, was a call for prayer and sacrifice for the glory of the Father and salvation of souls.

    The second message, August 3, 1973, was for prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices to soften the Father’s anger.

    The third message on October 13, 1973, the actual anniversary of the final visions and miracle of Fatima is as follows: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”

    “The demon will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.”

    In his pastoral letter approving the events of Akita as supernatural, the Bishop of Niigata said: “After the inquiries conducted up to the present day, one cannot deny the supernatural character of a series of unexplainable events relative to the statue of the Virgin honored at Akita (Diocese of Niigata). Consequently I authorize that all of the diocese entrusted to me venerate the Holy Mother of Akita.”

    Concerning the messages, His Excellency said: “As for the content of the messages received, it is no way contrary to Catholic doctrine or to good morals. When one thinks of the actual state of the world, the warning seems to correspond to it in many points.” His Excellency explained that he had taken eight years to give this judgment because of the importance and the responsibility in question. “The Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith has given me directives in this sense,” the Bishop said, “that only the bishop of the diocese in question has the power to recognize an event of this kind.”

    The events of Akita have been confirmed by definite miracles, two of which are cited by the Bishop in his pastoral letter. While the warning given by Our Lady at Akita is terrible, the message, as the Bishop points out, is basically a repetition of the Message of Fatima. Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary, and above all of accepting from God whatever He may send in the course of each day . . . whatever suffering . . . and to offer it up in reparation for so many sins committed throughout the world at this time. Our Lady begged especially for prayers for bishops, priests, and religious, and for reparation before the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lady said: “I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering to the Father, together with all the victim souls who console Him, the sufferings endured by the Son on the Cross, by His blood and by His very loving Soul. Prayer, penance, and courageous sacrifices can appease the anger of the Father.”

    [Let me repeat Our Lady’s last words:]

    “Prayer, penance, and courageous sacrifices can appease the anger of the Father.”

  107. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    Michigan Catholic,

    Should I drink your kool-aide or St. Thomas Aquinas’, Leo XIII’s, Pius X’s, XI’s, XII’s kool-aide? Don’t take this the wrong way “buddy” but I think I will stick to the Saints and Popes. You can stick with the American Protestants if you want.

  108. SC says:

    Christopher, I think a direct quotation with the citations would help if Fr. Z has not corrected it by now. He usually does in cases of error posted on here. I have not read the Summa, but my son has. He could look up whatever you post. Thanks!

  109. Gerry Scheidhauer says:

    As you may have learned, there were approximately 60 million nominal Catholics at the beginning of the Great Jubilee at the turn of the century. You might ask how we went from that number down to our current 40 million. I guess the answer could be, to put it delicately, consolidation. It is not as bad as it looks. In retrospect it can be seen that only approximately 10% of the sixty or so were “with the program.” (Please excuse the anachronism, but I am 77 years old!) I mean to say only 10% that base assented wholeheartedly to the teaching of the Church and practiced the sacraments in the minimal sense of Sunday Mass and at least yearly confession. The rest, as was inevitable, either left the Church, defected to the culture of death, passed away, or in some cases at least for a couple of decades, went to various Christian sects, what remained of mainstream Protestantism or Bible Christianity. Since the Catholic birthrate continued to decline among these nominal Catholics and immigration from the Hispanic countries greatly diminished due to stricter governmental policies and better social conditions South of the Border, inevitably the number of Catholics decreased.

    At the same time, as you have noticed and will now experience in all its pastoral splendor, the Catholics we do have are better formed, practice their Faith in the traditional sense at a much higher level than ever, and are increasingly eager to share that Faith with their neighbors. Dissent has disappeared from the theological vocabulary. You will also note that as a group they are averaging four to five children per family, which means that over the next few decades we will see an increasing natural growth. Given that modern pagan society has achieved its goal of zero population growth and more, the demographics are on our side. Ironically in this year 2030 we are only 10 % of the population, but it is a rock solid fulcrum of which Archimedes would be proud. Upon that fulcrum we can transform the world if we stay the course. There I go again, with those out of date expressions, but you know what I mean.

    2030: Looking Backwards

    by Father John McCloskey

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