A reader asks:
How about this? As I cling ferociously to the Church I cannot accept sainthood for popes who either knew better and did nothing, knew better and yet shrugged and did it anyway, or were clueless about anti-Church bishops, giving in to the names vetted for new episcopal appointments, keeping the bad ones aboard, refusing to dump or exile the worst, public excommunicating man clergy and lay heretics and even apostates?
If you think those things just flew over God’s head then you have to go to Steubenville and ask those guys to give you back your tuition. You are not in a democracy. The Church says he/she is a saint and that is it. Roma locuta, causa finita est. If you have a problem with authority you are still Protestant. Beware: Purgatory may not be mortal but it is definitely not pleasant. What you are doing is called “temerary talk” a sin I have fallen into a few times! Remember Testis mendax peribit, vir obediens loquetum victoriam. (Proverbs 21:28 Vulgata.)
All things come from God, even the bad things. Those bad things happen because they are necessary for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. “O happy fault that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer.” Even Adam’s sin, the greatest disaster ever to hit mankind, was eventually reversed by God and turned into something great: the arrival of Jesus from Heaven. Compared with that, a few ‘lavender cassocks’ are definitely small potatoes. My money is on that they may partially prevail, enough to earn the consuming fire.
God puts up with our sins and with the clergy’s sins. Theirs are paid in gold, ours are paid with pebbles. Those who are teachers carry the heavier judgment. Those rebels at the Synod are obviously fighting the Holy Spirit, lots of head wind is hitting them. This morning I read about something really new … men talking about asking dubious bishops to go, or else. That is unheard of! but it shows that the faithful are ready to shake things up if the doctrine is not upheld at the diocesan level.
I have been an advocate for a long time of defending the Eucharist from dishonor. If I see (for example) a politician publicly espousing abortion receiving communion in my parish … I am going to do something about it because it is not a matter of “criteria” or “perception” but a blatant offense to the Holy Sacrament. Those giving away the Eucharist in such way may not even be priests, may be they are communist activists or something. So, I’ll catch them in the parking lot for a little friendly chat. Like they say so often: “think globally, act locally.”
Now please, leave the causes of the saints to the Vatican, Jesus gave that to them, not to us: they ‘tie and untie’ following Christ’s command. Unless you want to join Satan in accusing the saints day and night. In that case, get some asbestos breeches because you may need them!
There is a prophetic model of what is going on now. It’s the last part of the story of Balaam in the Book of Numbers. Remember that Balaam was a “prophet of the true God” but he sold his services for money to the Canaanites, then resisted the Holy Spirit until God spoke to him through the mouth of an ass (apt analogy! God had to descend to Balaam’s own level to see if He could make it through the “seer’s” thick head). According to Jewish tradition, Balaam died in Jericho when the walls collapsed on him. The same will happen to the Lavender Sissies and their followers. That is why Jesus said clearly in Matthew 24:15-28
“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.”
See the parallels with the story of Balaam the false prophet. He managed to confuse and defile some of the people and then, when someone tried to bring a Canaanite woman of Moab into the encampment of Israel, one priest took a spear and made a kebab with them. I think that is a prophetic model of St Michael (represented by Phineas the Levite, a grandson of Aaron.) Put two and two together and you’ll understand what is going on here. Moses is still Moses, Aaron is still Aaron, Jesus us still Jesus, the Pope is the Pope: this has to happen and believe me, you are not more astute than God Himself and He does not need you to ratify the causes of the saints. Be careful where you thread, guard your own moves instead. The Church is too big for you to govern, God is still at the helm. Now see how things transpired after Balaam did his deed, here:
“While Israel was staying at Shittim, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. Thus Israel yoked itself to the Baal of Peor, and the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel.The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take all the chiefs of the people, and impale them in the sun before the Lord, in order that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.’ And Moses said to the judges of Israel, ‘Each of you shall kill any of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.’ Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. Nevertheless, those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the Israelites by manifesting such zeal among them on my behalf that in my jealousy I did not consume the Israelites. Therefore say, “I hereby grant him my covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him a covenant of perpetual priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the Israelites.”’ Numbers 25.
We shall be bettered by this experience. It is easy to trust a great Pope with lots of energy, a powerful intellect, and other desirable qualities. But it is hard to love Peter, mainly because he is like us: he is not as deep as John, not as intellectual as Paul, not as fiery as James but God in His wisdom chose Peter and granted him a prayer: that his faith won’t fail. Our part on all these events is to contemplate Peter and see where the big lesson is. This is a very important lesson for the whole Church but few will have the wisdom to take full advantage of it.
In obedience we stand. In disobedience we fall.