5 Steps of Persecution

Life Site picked up on something that my friend Msgr. Charles Pope posted on his blog.  HERE You should see this.

Here is a mere sample:

It is rare that a respected segment of American life would become vilified and hated overnight. The usual transformation from respect to vilification goes in stages which grow in intensity. And hereby the Church, once a respected aspect of American life, along with the Protestant denominations has become increasingly marginalized and hated by many. It may help us to review these stages of persecution since it would seem that things are going to get more difficult for the Church in the years ahead. Generally there are distinguished five basic stages of persecution.

You can find the full explanation at his place, but a summary…

The five stages, as he lists them, are: (1) Stereotyping the targeted group; (2) Vilifying the targeted group for alleged crimes or misconduct; (3) Marginalizing the targeted group’s role in society; (4) Criminalizing the targeted group or its works; (5) Persecuting the targeted group outright.

According to Msgr. Pope, the stereotyping stage began in the 1960s and 70s when Christians were “caricatured in the media as Bible thumpers, simpletons, as backwards, mentally simple, haters of science, hypocrites, self-righteous, old-fashioned and so forth.”

But, in his view, the culture has now reached stage 4 with the state beginning to “criminalize” Christian beliefs. “Stages one through four are pretty well in place. One may wish to whistle past the graveyard but it looks like we’re pretty well set for Stage V,” he writes.

I will add that, when analyzing some issue faced by the Church, we should look at it ad intra and ad extra.  It is obvious that we have may agents within the Church who are either the witting agents or unwitting agent dupes of those who would bring about the eradication of the Church’s positive influence.  Some of them wear Roman collars.

Meanwhile, everybody, let’s talk about the New Evangelization!

I refer the readership back to my constant points about sacred worship and Catholic identity and being prepared, mentally, spiritual and materially, for what is coming.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Saul Alinsky would approve……

    Immaculate Heart of Mary be our refuge…..

  2. Latin Mass Type says:

    Having been around since before the 1960s I can testify to these chilling changes.

    Just last night I was reading an article about a bishop, in a regular newspaper (website) in his diocese. It was a wonderful warmhearted view of one aspect of this man. No, it wasn’t a saccharine puff piece, but more of a human interest story. The writer did not seem to have an agenda and did not make any obvious bloopers in discussion of the Church. No snide comments about pedophiles or bigots or lacy vestments appeared.

    It was very refreshing and reminded me of news articles from another era. Perhaps positive articles like this may exist in the media from other areas, but not mine. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where even Catholic media will occasionally publish something very “iffy” in an effort to represent “all” viewpoints.

  3. FL_Catholic says:

    The State has been trying to get Stage IV ramped up for a while, and it was only having limited success before. They tried most boldly with the HHS mandate and we’re smacked down on it, but if the Supreme Court decides in favor of gay marriage, then all bets are off. We will very quickly move to Stage V.

  4. Brian Cannon says:

    Pot meet kettle. This is pretty much the blueprint for how some fellow Catholics are discussed around here.

  5. St Donatus says:

    We know the persecution is coming, but we need to decide which side we will be on. I think everyone knows that Satan controls the mass media at this point, all of it. We just need to decide whether we are going to be a participant by watching their propaganda or are we going to turn of the tube and find entertainment/news from reliable Catholic sources. I know it is hard, but we can’t just drink the poison and say it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t know any better.

    I have noticed this persecution is both inside and outside the Church. As far as outside the Church, I find it difficult to sit through the news anymore. Thankfully on Roku the stories are seperated by story rather than having to sit through a whole news program. It used to be that when I noticed another news story softly trying to influence my thinking, I would just turn of the news. Now I can just turn off the news story and move on to the next one. It is getting harder and harder though because the media just tells us what they want us to know. Stories like how Islamic militants masacre over 450 people in Africa and y0u will hear nothing, a cop pushes an unruly teenager down to the grass and it is the top story.

    As far as inside the Church, you see in the way a conservative bishop is immediately removed if he has a pedophile priest in the diocese while a liberal bishop is promoted with the same issues. You can see it in how some diocese are refused a Latin Mass with large numbers requesting it and despite sumorum pontificam, while clown/puppet Masses seem to be the norm. You see it in the first liberal parent who complains about how a good Catholic CCD teacher scared Johnny when he taught him about Hell, while a liberal teacher is allowed to basically teach them to disregard Church teaching, masturbation and fornication is okay, and help them with contraceptive choices.

    Satan is hard at it. Thankfully we have holy Shepherds like Bishop Morlino, Conley, Cordelione, and so forth to truly shepherd us in truth and support us under persecution.

  6. LarryW2LJ says:

    The Early Church had it worse and they thrived, but they had conviction! We need that back. You can’t fight if you don’t know where you stand, or what you stand for. I don’t mean to dump this on our good Fathers, but we need more of those fiery homilies that stand up for the Truth and not vague “feel good” about yourself, motivational type homilies. I’m sure you all know what I mean, and I’m sure the good Fathers who read Fr. Z’s blog have none of that nonsense – it’s like preaching to the choir here.

    If wishes were nickels, I’d be a millionaire, but I sure wish that Papa Benedict XVI had been about 15-20 years younger when Pope St. John Paul II had died. He’s still the man we need in this time and in this place – just my humble opinion.

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    I about choked as I read: Meanwhile, everybody, let’s talk about the New Evangelization!

    A true re-evangelization would be to uphold the age old teachings of holy Mother Church, not all this public wanting to change her doctrine, not all this public heresy, not all this public compromise with the world, not all this winking at intrinsic evils especially on the part of high prelates. Who was it that said, “Dead bodies float downstream?” Or in other words go along with the secular or PC immoral society. Sounds like something the Ven. Fulton Sheen might have said or the wonderful Servant of God, Fr. Hardon.

    And who was it that said that the Church shows her greatness when she is persecuted? And then there is Our Lord who promised persecution to His true disciples. Woe it is when ‘the world’ loves and extols you!

  8. Gerard Plourde says:

    In terms of persecution, the truth is that the United States has never been particularly friendly to the Catholic Church. It primarily inherited its bias against Catholicism from post-Reformation Britain, as well as from the Gereman Anabaptists who emigrated in the colonial period. Within sixty years of its founding, the Catholic-founded colony of Maryland saw Catholicism outlawed and Catholics deprived of their right to vote. At the time of the out break of the Revolutionary War the Catholic Mass could only be freely celebrated in Pennsylvania (although in 1776 Virginia and Maryland joined Pennsylvania by passing laws allowing religious tolerance). Toleration did not equal acceptance, however. During the Know-Nothing riots of the 1840’s, even Philadelphia witnessed the burning of Old St. Augustine’s in 1844 and when constructing the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, St. John Neumann purposely had the Stained-glass windows set high in the walls to prevent their being broken by stone throwers (Some larger windows were added during expansions of the building beginning in the 1950’s).

    Many state constitutions drafted in the 19th century incorporated a version of the Blaine Amendment, which sought to exclusively establish non-sectarian public education as a way of preventing Catholic parochial schools fostered by St. John Neumann and other Catholic leaders and was named after Senator James G. Blaine who unsuccessfully attempted to have it inserted into the United States Constitution. As late as 1922 the State of Oregon sought to outlaw religiously-based schools (but prompted by the perceived threat of Catholicism to American values), the law eventually being found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    As late as 1960, mainstream Protestant ministers, Norman Vincent Peale among them, feared that John F. Kennedy would be manipulated by the Vatican. This was the reason for his meeting with the Greater Houston Ministerial Association during the presidential campaign.

    It is true that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice and is not now and has not been exclusive to those described as liberals.

  9. MarkJ says:

    Please read and re-read St. Theresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle” and then implement what she says to build up your interior Communion with God. This will help avoid sin, deepen spiritual communication and strengthen you against the onslaught of evil. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and that is what each of us is until we allow God complete control. Surrender to the Lord or surrender to the enemy.

  10. Magash says:

    It was Fulton Sheen.
    For all the sniping at the New Evangelization, the fact is that the Holy Father recognized that we must have a true re-evagelization of the faithful, to counteract the failure of catechesis in the period after Vatican II. The New Evagelization is an ad intra response to this failure to properly promulgate Catholic teaching and authentic Catholic culture to a generation of Catholic youth.
    Msgr. Pope is right. The persecutions are about to begin.
    My hope is that they come sooner rather than later. Why? because if they get into full swing before the next election there is actually a chance that enough non-Catholic Christians will see that it is only a matter of time before they too are in the cross-hairs. There might still be enough time to turn things back. If not I expect it will take another generation before societal collapse will allow for the rebuilding of a moral society.

  11. Ben Kenobi says:

    Fantastic post by Gerald Plourde. This is not a new problem in the United States. We should be prepared for anti-Catholic persecution to continue in the US as it has it the past.

  12. pannw says:

    While I agree that anti-Catholicism is nothing new, I think we are coming into a period beyond the type of persecution the US has ever seen in her relatively short history. I also think it will extend to other Christians who hold particularly to the teachings we share on sexual morality. There is a hostility to people of faith that is very ugly and bordering on violent already. They just haven’t gotten brave enough to act on it, but the mask is slipping more and more as anyone who spends much time on secular blogs will have seen. Just last night, in a thread on Breitbart about the prayer rally Governors Haley and Jindal are participating in this weekend, I was told that I was “a tumor on humanity” and that “the world would be such a better place without me” and my kind. This, not because I condemned anyone or anything, but because I admitted that I believed in Jesus and angels, satan and demonic possession, miracles, and, just as the Founding Fathers believed, that God does intervene in the lives of men when and how He chooses. In other words, I believe the Gospel and for that, I have become a ‘tumor on humanity’. That’s the mentality that allows people to engage in not only economic persecution and prejudice, but actual bloody persecution, or at least stand by and permit it.

    It’s coming.

  13. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The Early Church had it worse and they thrived, but they had conviction.”

    Oh, no. Don’t think that for a minute – I mean about the Early Church having it worse. Oh, no, no, no…man’s imagination for evil has progressed even as his imagination for good has. God allows a certain parity to exist between good and evil in history, otherwise, there would be little merit if the good developed in understanding while evil were stagnant. Even though we have doctors of the Church explaining the subtleties of man’s relationship to God, evil has its laboratory of discovery scattered throughout history.

    You think that the modern persecution will be of such crude things as being boiled alive or crucified? That’s for amateurs and children in evil (yes, the Islamists are amateurs, really). Oh, no no. The modern persecution will include the soft sell for the many, but for the stubborn, it will include oh…let me see…shock “treatments,” pharmaceuticals (there is a class of anti-depressants that is known to make a person compliant, not to mention hypnotics like rohypnol), hypnosis and trance induction, transcranial electrical stimulation, transcranial magnetoencephelography, which can be used to selectively inactivate certain portions of the brain, including the moral sense, all sorts of hallucinogenics, psycho-surgery…you get my point?

    Oh, and welcome to enhanced surveillance…there will be no hiding in the catacombs, this time around. Within fifty years, one can imagine rfid tags in every person. They WILL have your DNA on file and any little trace you leave can be tracked.

    Jesus said in Matthew 24: 16 – 28 that these days would be shortened and, perhaps, I think, for a good reason:

    “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle.

    And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

    Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

    Lo, I have told you beforehand.

    So, if they say to you, ‘Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; if they say, ‘Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man.

    Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

    Historically, the Church (see, for instance St. John Chrysostom) have held that the Abomination of Desolation and this passage, in general, refers to the armies surround the city of Jerusalem when it fell in 70 A. D., but one wonders if this might not, also, recur in history in another guise. There is a New Jerusalem on Earth, right now, which is the Catholic Church, and one wonders if there will not be a second siege that will occur like the battle for the Second Temple? If this is so, there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Unless this time is shortened, no one will survive.

    Do you still want to claim that this persecution will be like the ones in the early days of the Church? Don’t kid yourselves. If I have succeeded in making you frightened – good. You need to prepare yourselves spiritually, right now, because no natural strength of body or mind will protect you from people hell-bent on converting you. Only supernatural fortitude will allow you to stand until you die.

    I hate to sound so pessimistic, but with the rise of science, especially after the 1960’s, evil has found a powerful ally. As Ven. Fulton Sheen pointed out, the day the atom bomb was dropped changed everything in human history, except the sacrifice of Christ.

    We aren’t quite at the science fiction era, not just yet, but we will get there, unless Christ returns soon.

    As for the way America is going, one could (I say this, somewhat tongue-and-cheek, but only somewhat) like the last line of Matthew I quoted, above:

    “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

    For those in other countries, the national bird of the U. S. is the eagle.

    Cheery thoughts.

    The Chicken

  14. Imrahil says:

    Dear Masked Chicken,

    that was interesting.

    Death he [Beren] did not fear, only imprisonment.

    As for cheery thoughts,
    If they persecute you in one city, flee into another; verily I say onto you, ye shall not come to an end with the cities of Israel until the Son of Man cometh.

    (As for how things look presently, it might be worth while to learn Hungarian.)

  15. Imrahil says:

    To source the first quote above: Silmarillion, of course.

    Another on a similar line:

    Violence! What is violence! Enticement: that is more violent than violence!

    From Lessing’s Emilia Galotti. He was a Freemason, but this drama isn’t.

  16. Wait, I want to read these two again:

    (3) Marginalizing the targeted group’s role in society;
    (4) Criminalizing the targeted group or its works;

    If we’re knee deep into stage 4, why is it that I’m not arrested solely for being a Christian, or for attending Mass? This isn’t North Korea just yet. I’d say we’re on the bad end of stage 3, looking up ahead at stage 4.

    But hey, that’s just me — an official photographer for a Federal government agency that’s been celebrating LGBT Pride Month, all this month, and no one’s made me take pictures of an event.

    Then again, the month isn’t over.

  17. Malinda says:

    Every year on Ash Wednesday, we read from Joel 2:

    ” Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
    for the day of the LORD is coming, it is near–
    a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
    Like blackness spread upon the mountains
    a great and powerful army comes;
    their like has never been from of old,
    nor will be again after them
    in ages to come.
    Yet even now, says the LORD,
    return to Me with all your heart,
    with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    rend your hearts and not your clothing.
    Return to the LORD, your God,
    for He is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
    and relents from punishing.
    Who knows whether He will not turn and relent,…..”.

    It seems to me that the means for combating the evil coming upon us has already been given if we will only seriously use it from the Pope on down to the lowest laity.

  18. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Msgr. Pope, I think, is partly mistaken. There was plenty of anti-Catholicism in the United States from the 1920s onward, from the left (meaning Socialists, Communists, the latter’s fellow travelers, secular humanists/atheists/freethinkers, and even a number of mainline, liberal, non-fundamentalist Protestants). This led Peter Viereck to observe that “Catholic-baiting is the anti-Semitism of the intellectuals.” The conservative author Victory Lasky observed that during the 1960 presidential election, many of the same liberals who were busy condemning anti-Catholicism were also the ones who helped make Paul Blanshard’s “American Freedom and Catholic Power” (1949) a bestseller.

    When the history of anti-Catholicism in the United States is discussed, the anti-Catholic bigots are almost always identified as anti-immigrant (Nativist), fundamentalist Christian, and KKK members. Just like today, leftist anti-Catholicism is never discussed or even recognized as bigotry.

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