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Is This The Eve Of Destruction?

April 24, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By GEORGE A. KENDALL

I’m seeing a lot of discussion now in the faithful Catholic press, including The Wanderer, on whether the coronavirus is divine chastisement. In matters like this we can never be certain, but I cannot help sympathizing with those who argue that it is, if only because the disorder and destructiveness of our civilization so clearly cry out for chastisement. Besides, I am getting feeling that people get when a volcanic eruption or an earthquake is imminent, when rumblings in the earth or the odd behavior of the animals get your attention.
There is one clarification I feel the need to make. When God chastises, He doesn’t generally do it by raining fire and brimstone on people, though He has certainly done so (think of Sodom and Gomorrah). But His usual method is to allow us to punish ourselves, to let the destructiveness of our behavior work its way to its end — destruction.
As the Greeks said, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” When people’s souls become completely dominated by hubris, that situation generates the nemesis that will destroy them. Only extreme hubris could lead people to experiment with dangerous viruses with a view to making biological weapons, and, guess what! This one came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, working on biological weapons (our corrupt media are hard at work trying to deny this, but there is evidence — I refer the reader to Steven Mosher’s articles on the subject).
So let us just do a little survey of the horrors so prevalent in our post-Christian “civilization.”
In recent years, the social and political power of the totalitarian left has hugely increased. This is a movement that had its beginning in the 1960s (sort of — the only thing in history that has an absolute beginning is the beginning), and was characterized by the sexual revolution more than anything else.
The fact that it all began (sort of) with such an all-out attack on the family, the foundation of the social order as a whole, tells us that the desire to destroy the social order is the underlying motive behind such movements. Now when you are trying to accomplish something as ambitious as the destruction of the social order, you need ways to enforce your agenda — in other words, to force it on those benighted enough to resist it. Right now, that takes the form of political correctness. Under the reign of PC, if you say or write something that might conceivably be construed as racist or sexist, or homophobic or cis-gender, you immediately come under attack and are subject to social ostracism, and usually harassed till you come up with an insincere apology.
This might have been the end of it in the early days, but the PC racket has hugely increased its power by now, due to the great number of gutless people who do nothing to support the accused. We could end up with laws calling for criminal prosecution of those who speak their minds, with the courts upholding them (this has already happened in many countries, including our neighbor, Canada).
And as a concluding terrifying thought: Just think of the motley crew of democratic presidential candidates, most of whom arguably can be considered certifiably insane (or possessed?), and who enjoy more than anything parading around in front of their media sympathizers, spewing out hatred for all normal people, in many decibels and with every imaginable obscenity coming out of their mouths, and demanding the right to kill babies and old people, to marry people of their own sex, and so on.
The “dictatorship of relativism,” which denies that we can know truth, is another example. Of course, relativists usually phrase this as: We cannot know absolute truth, but this is redundant — if something is true at all, it is absolutely true. When relativists speak as if something can be true but not absolutely so, they display a degree of mental disorganization bordering on dementia (but I prefer to refrain from speculation as to which side of the border it is on).
Now to say we cannot know truth is to say that we are cut off from reality, hence are unable to act on it or interact with it. Hence there is no such thing as rational debate. There is no way to persuade another person that you are right because to do so, you would have to appeal to objective reality. If you want your view to prevail, the only way left is violence. That can mean physical violence, such as killing the people who stand in your way, or mental violence, such as propaganda, manipulation, brainwashing (our whole educational system, from kindergarten to the universities has been for years now dedicated to this second kind). The whole PC thing is violence against the human mind. The attack on truth is an attack on man, in whose nature the need for truth is deeply rooted, something Aristotle was aware of when he started out his Metaphysics with the words, “All men by nature desire to know.”
Once you have established that there is no truth, you can go ahead and undermine all the institutions which once were, or tried to be, representatives of truth — schools, universities, and media which now dedicate themselves to preventing young people from ever knowing truth. And of all the institutions that have the duty to proclaim the truth and fight against lies, the Catholic Church is foremost.
Yet she has been deeply corrupted in our times by those who deny any objective truth or any objective moral order. Only think of the clergy who advocate for “gay rights,” and whose ranks include some in the hierarchy, such as Joseph Cardinal Tobin of Newark, N.J. Then there is Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, superior general of the Society of Jesus, who maintains that when Jesus said that “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” we must not assume that He actually meant to forbid divorce (and remarriage). He might have intended something completely different.
And just look at the moral corruption — priests and bishops molesting young boys and often ruining their lives and causing them to lose their faith, when it was their duty to protect them from evil. And then there is former Cardinal McCarrick, once one of the most powerful prelates in the Church, who did these things throughout his career. Somewhere (probably in Hell) Pope Alexander VI has to be laughing. And the corruption does not stop with the Sixth Commandment, but goes on to violate the seventh, with greed leading to some Vatican officials using their power to enrich themselves through the Church’s treasury.
So here we have the picture of a world falling apart at the seams, especially in the West, which used to be Christian but has largely apostatized from the faith. And in the middle of this chaotic situation, we are suddenly dealing with this coronavirus pandemic. While there is much we don’t know about this virus, there is the possibility of a worldwide catastrophe. We have to consider that this might be divine punishment for our rebellion against God. Some Catholics are already saying this is the tribulation Jesus prophesied for the end-time.
I think this is leaping to a conclusion in the absence of sufficient evidence, but I don’t think we can rule it out either. My personal view is that it is more likely to be the chastisement foretold by the Blessed Mother at Fatima.
In the pre-Christian era, the Jewish people again and again fell away from their covenant with God into idolatry, and each time God punished them with a catastrophe — like being conquered by the Babylonians. But God’s purpose was not punishment alone but correction — bringing the people back to the covenant. Perhaps for modern “civilization,” after its centuries-long descent into Hell, a catastrophe like the coronavirus pandemic is the only thing that can bring us back to spiritual and moral order. And we can certainly hope that the purification of the Church will be one of the fruits of this restoration.
One clarification: Rather than ask whether the coronavirus is the chastisement, perhaps we need to ask whether it is the beginning of the chastisement, which may have several stages. The second stage could be the overreaction by us humans in putting the whole world on lockdown. This is beginning to create economic chaos already, and does have the potential to grow worse. That would be chastisement indeed.
(© 2020 George A. Kendall)

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