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Time To Take A Stand And Defend The Faith

June 7, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

I am, what one would call, a cradle Catholic. I was born, baptized, and sent to Catholic schools by parents who not only took their faith seriously, they endeavored to instill that faith in me. For the most part, I guess, it worked. I graduated from a Catholic high school and went to a Jesuit college.
I was Catholic. And later, at the suggestion of my family and several parishioners, I began studying for the diaconate and was ordained. Over the years I have developed a great love for the Church, its history, and its teachings; and from early on I developed a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother and spent much time researching her apparitions and the messages that accompanied them.
I don’t know if it would be correct to call me a Catholic nerd, but I am anything but an apostate.
Thus it saddens me to read daily stories of how the Church and many of its leaders have undermined the faith of the laity; and how many of that same laity are now in a not-so quiet rebellion against some of the most fundamental teachings of the Church. Bishops are contradicting other bishops, priests are being censored for speaking truth, and the faithful accepts lay leadership that hasn’t the vaguest idea of what the Church is and what makes it different from all other Christian dominations, and have no grasp of the rich tradition and history that is the Catholic Church.
And, of course, I wonder why.
If you are a regular reader of this column, you’ve seen some hints over the five or so years I’ve been writing this. So I’m going to try to put it together in thumbnail fashion, starting with the answer: The Prince of this World, also known as Satan. He’s known by many other names, but Satan, or the devil, will do for our purposes.
He is successful today because he has found many helpmates who have, by design or ignorance, behind the scenes wreaked havoc with the Church we love. We know the devil has been busy trying to defeat the Church since the time of the apostles, but lately it seems that he has turned up the heat.
After the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, with its near-fatal blow to the Church in Europe, the movement began to splinter into various cults. There was then an increasing voice for a “new world order” based on natural — not spiritual — values. This new “religion” was to replace Catholicism and was fostered through secret societies throughout the Continent. The chief opponent of the Church was the Freemasons.
(See https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03330c.htm for more on the Freemasons and also the Alta Vendita.)
Then, one morning in 1884, during the papacy of Leo XIII, the Pope appeared discombobulated and seemed to lose consciousness after saying morning Mass. His aides came to his assistance and after the episode passed he told them what had happened.
He said he had witnessed a conversation between God and Satan during which Satan boasted that he would be able to destroy the Church if only God would give him the time. God granted his request and gave him one hundred years. The Pope then had a vision of Hell and saw the Archangel Michael respond to prayers of the faithful. He penned the Prayer to St. Michael which he directed should be recited after each Low Mass worldwide. That prayer was recited until it was removed from its place during the reforms of Vatican II in 1964. Recently, there have been moves to restore it to its place, however.
Let’s move a bit further ahead in time. In 1904 Maria Asunta Isabella Visono — later known as Bella Dodd — was born in Italy and was soon taken to the United States. With a bright mind Bella graduated from college, attended graduate school at Columbia, and finally received a law degree from New York University. It was during her schooling that she left her native Catholicism and ultimately became an adviser for the local teachers union and finally a member of the Communist Party where she ultimately rose to membership in the party’s national committee.
Dodd, who later reconverted to Catholicism and renounced Communism, claimed that in the late 1920s and 1930s, in response to directives that were sent from Moscow, the party was to place party members in seminaries and Church organizations in order to destroy the Church from within. She also claimed that she, herself, placed numerous fellow-travelers into U.S. seminaries.
That’s all interesting to hear, a little scary, but interesting. So, how does all this fit into what is going on now? Consider:
In Akita, Japan, Mary told Sr. Agnes Sasagawa in 1973, “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…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 Most Rev. John Shojiro Ito, bishop of Niigata, recognized “the supernatural character of a series of mysterious events concerning the statue of the Holy Mother Mary” and authorized “the veneration of the Holy Mother of Akita” within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Niigata in a 1984 pastoral letter.)
Pope St. Pius X, seeing the Church under siege from modernism, wrote in Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Feeding the Lord’s Flock) in 1907:
“[T]hey put into operation their designs for [the Church’s] undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of Her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers.”
Pius XII warned, “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a Divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith.”
And of course there is Pope Paul VI’s comment in 1972 when the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae was being rejected by priests, bishops, and the culture: “The smoke of Satan has entered the Church.”
Of course I could go on but I think you get my point. Satan is using every weapon available to him to infiltrate the Church to destroy it. And we wonder now why there is so much confusion going on, why many bishops won’t take firm stands on major doctrinal issues facing the Church, and instead wish to “dialogue” with dissenters instead of insisting on orthodoxy.
And just what would we “dialogue” about? Questioning the humanity of a baby in the womb? Discussing why a person can pick his gender and change it at will? Or why your teen daughter is forced to shower with the boy down the block after gym class? Is that what some call “relativism”?
Anyway, it’s time to take a stand and shoe the infiltrators out. Bishops, clergy, and laity must hold fast to the universal truth of the Catholic faith. It might not make us popular, but as Jesus said, if they hate us it’s because they hated Him first. Kinda puts you in good company, doesn’t it?
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and hear his radio program, Faith On Trial, every Thursday at 10 a.m. Central, on IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

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