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The Wheels Are Coming Off

August 17, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Prophets are a pain. They bother us incessantly with the same somber warnings of doom. We don’t like prophets because we fear they will take away all the fun and pleasure of life.
If you think that sin is fun, you would be right. But, because what we see is not all there is, because time flies and eternity await, because the way of all flesh is death and corruption, this world and the flesh must be submitted to other and higher, eternal considerations.
The role of the prophet is to stand before others who have forgotten they are more than flesh and bone, more than appetites and wants, and to confront them with their own deeds and words which deny, and war against, the soul and eternal life. Against God.
Prophets in fact do us a favor: They give us the means to judge and condemn ourselves now and turn our lives back to God before we face His divine and final eternal judgment. Prophets, it turns out, are all about love and second chances. By forcing us to hear and consider matters we find disagreeable, by confronting us with the unsavory truth of our repulsive sinfulness, they do us a favor of eternal proportions.
All priests to some degree as preachers and teachers share in the office of prophet, a charism or munus of the high priesthood through, with, and in, Christ the Priest, Prophet, and King. They teach, sanctify, and govern, anointed as sacerdos, to bring Christ by means of truth and grace, to mankind. Priests, to be faithful to their priesthood must serve as prophets, often bringing the truth to bear on those who have lost their way.
Pope Francis has called for parrhesia, truth telling, and speaking out to one and all about our concerns. Prophets also speak up to Popes and bishops as did St. Catherine of Siena. She called on the Pope to return to Rome and to lead the universal Church from her center in the Eternal City of the Vatican, from the seat of the Pope and Bishop of Rome at the Lateran Basilica.
Today the Pope is not separated physically from the Apostolic See. Through his episcopal and Vatican appointments, his documents, his words and actions, however, he is distanced spiritually from the charism of Peter and the office of Pope, “saying and doing things a Pope should never say or do,” according to Fr. Gerald Murray, author, speaker, and canon lawyer.
Many of our priests, especially younger priests today, are very faithful, and trend traditional. They regularly wear their clerical attire in public outside their parish, they gather in priestly fraternity to pray and for spiritual reading and discussion and for meals and conversation. Some, of course, are converts and entered the Church through traditional devotions such as the Holy Rosary and certainly by praying the Holy Mass frequently as well as on Sundays and through regular experience of adoration of Our Lord truly present in the Eucharist.
These young priests are Catholic and want to be Catholic in every sense of that word. They want no part of the synods on sodomy and the wholesale promotion of fantasies that have nothing to do with Scripture and Tradition and, in fact, contradict Tradition. These unrealizable and false promises include “ordination” of women to the diaconate or the priesthood and “blessing” sin such as simulation of marriage through any sexual activity pursued outside of holy matrimony exclusively between one man and woman, for the whole of life and open to bearing children.
Some of these young priests are saying the Traditional Latin Mass privately, if they are not already on the bishops’ public list of “approved” celebrants of Latin Masses that are now “permitted” at limited locations after Traditionis Custodes illegally expelled the Mass from parish churches. They are observing with trepidation certain developments that are laying the groundwork for the very great likelihood that the October synod agenda may be imposed with force at the parish level.
“The wheels are coming off” is the way some of these priests describe the Church today. The purpose of a vehicle is to move its occupants from one location to another safely and efficiently. When it comes to a car, wheels in good repair are necessary to achieve its purpose. The purpose of the Church is to save souls by moving them from Earth to Heaven. That objective is accomplished by teaching the Deposit of Faith and giving the sacraments so that souls are saved by grace. That God-given and divinely mandated purpose of the Church is violated by the documents of this pontificate, by the scandalous words and actions of men appointed to prominent positions by Pope Francis, and without correction by him, and by the Synod agenda. The purpose of the Church is frustrated and made sterile, undermined and violated, by these men just as a car without wheels is useless.
With shock and incredulity, we have watched the systematic dismantling of the hard-won legacies of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We have seen champions of Christian marriage and family life at the JPII Institute for Marriage and Family removed and replaced with their polar opposites. And lately we have been shocked once again to witness the bold Eucharistic sacrileges of World Youth Day in Portugal. The Eucharist was reserved in plastic food catering boxes and served in Ikea potato chip bowls.
I am reminded of Pope John Paul II’s pastoral visit to the Mall in DC for Mass in 1979. It was the dream of a lifetime for many to see the beloved Pope, a hero to us all. Word was passed many years later that, after witnessing the extra hosts after the Mass put in plastic trash bags, JPII turned to the then archbishop of Washington and said, “You and I are now going to pray and do reparation for what I just saw.” Both he and Benedict would be shocked and appalled to see hard-won Eucharistic reverence and devotion so easily discarded once again in the same manner in which it had waned in the post-conciliar era.
This programmatic and evident dismantling of faith and morals is happening all around us. In one prominent diocese a new director of evangelization has recently been appointed. He has a track record of presenting for speaking engagements a woman who encourages just about every possible sinful violation of the Church’s unchangeable doctrine on the truth of marriage and family life. The woman in question is described as a “sexologist.” Notably, at the same time that Pope Francis has appointed the anti-dogmatic Manuel Fernandez to the top dogmatic position in Rome as head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, a bishop appoints a clone of Fernandez at the local level.
Why? Pope Francis has made abundantly obvious even to those who do not specialize in prophecy that he intends to change the truth itself. He is very determined. An impossible task and yet just one more fantasy. But it is not an idle threat. Why? The phenomenon of papolatry, a perversion of the doctrine of papal infallibility, has been growing apace for many years now and has laid the groundwork for many to believe that whatever a Pope says is true, even if it contradicts matters of faith and morals that preceded him.
What are we to do? Take advice from St. Pio: “Pray, hope and don’t worry.” And love as well. Love our prayer of the Holy Mass and pray it frequently in addition to Sunday, pray the rosary, study and know the faith. Pass it on to your families. Become saints. Holiness has always been the answer to the crises that ever afflict the Church and the world. We must be part of the promise of Christ to His Church that “the gates of Hell will not prevail.” That promise is ours to the extent that we remain faithful to the Church and her unchanging traditions.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
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