Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle
Domine, salva nos, perimus (“Lord, save us, we perish,” Matthew 8.25, the Holy Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible). Such was the fearful cry of the disciples to their sleeping Lord in the Gospel of the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany. As they crossed the sea, a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. St. Cyril notes that these disciples of Our Lord were not ignorant of the ways of the sea, “and indeed were long familiar with its storms and dangers.” It is only when the danger became so acute that, continues the great Father and Doctor of the Church, “they were filled with a fear which they were no longer able to support, and as there remained no other hope of escaping the impending great peril they awakened the Lord of all power Himself.”
The great tempest (Greek seismos, a cosmic disturbance) that arose foreshadows, according to another great Father and Doctor of the Church, St. John Chrysostom, the future tribulations that will, like the waves, cover the Bark of the Church. St. Paul, writing his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, tells us the precise acuteness, referred to above, of the peril this great tempest shall inflict upon the Church: For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation… that we were pressed out of measure above our strength (1.8). This great tempest, this tribulation, shall then swell up, overarch and, as the waves soaked and filled the boat, affect the high bulwarks (Sophonias 1.16) of the Church, even the towering See of Peter: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Luke 22.31). I will strike the shepherd: and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed (Mt. 26.31): Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to Me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered (Zacharias 13.7). For this reason, Our Lord speaks of this great tempest as that great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be (Mt. 24.21).
St. Paul teaches us that the sins of God’s people and His chastisement of them in the Old Testament was a figure of us (1 Cor. 10.6) and therefore it was written for our correction (1 Cor. 10.11). Pope Leo XIII, who wrote the “supreme guide to Biblical studies” (Pope Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu ), the Encyclical Providentissimus Deus, owned also for the Church the disasters which had struck God’s people in the Old Testament:
“The nation of the Jews bore an inchoate semblance to the Christian people, and the vicissitudes of their history in olden times have often foreshadowed the truth that was to come, saving that God in His goodness has enriched and loaded us with far greater benefits, and on this account the sins of Christians are much greater, and bear the stamp of more shameful and criminal ingratitude ” (Sapientiae Christianae, Jan. 10, 1890).
The course of divine chastisement recorded in the Old Testament and hounding the Israelites for their sins did not just settle then as mere narratives for us modern readers for the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4.12). The divine chastisement that had stricken the Israelites of Old chastened, are scourging, and will descend upon the Church, yet even more acutely – for the “far greater benefits God in His goodness has enriched and loaded us” (Pope Leo XIII above) through the Crucified.
Of Old, the great tribulation lamented by Esdras (2 Esd 9.37), Esther (11.8), the Prophet Jeremias (30.3,7-8; Book of Lamentations), the Prophet Sophonias (1.15-17), and Mathathias (1 Machabees 2-3) speaks of the divine chastisement inflicting upon the Jewish people a universal calamity:
1) delivering the princes of Juda, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land… into the hands of their enemies (Jer. 34.19-20) so that all of them themselves are servants… in their own land according to their [the enemies] will (2 Esd 9.37);
2) and, the height of it all, delivering all [their] desirable things [the sanctuary and all the sacred things therein (1 Mach. 1.23), including the Ark of the Covenant (1 Kings 4; 1 Samuel 4 in New Bible Versions] into the hands of the adversaries: The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath cursed His sanctuary: He hath delivered the walls of the towers thereof into the hand of the enemy: they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast (Lamentations 2.7). See what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. They have set up their ensigns for sign… they have defiled the dwelling-place of Thy name on the earth (Ps. 73.3,4,7).Woe is me, wherefore was I born to see the ruin of the holy city, and to dwell there, when it is given into the hands of the enemies? The holy places are come into the hands of strangers: her temple is become as a man without honor… And behold our sanctuary, and our beauty, and our glory is laid waste, and the Gentiles have defiled them… The children of strangers were in the castle, there was the habitation of the Gentiles (1 Mach. 2.7-8,12; 3.45).
|A lotus-shaped incense burner is placed in front of the tabernacle. Beside the tabernacle is a banner with Buddhist inscriptions.A large Cross is at the background, actually, relegated to the side of the sanctuary.|
|Buddhist books at each side of the incense burner.|
|Buddhist monks adoring their abominable idol at a Catholic sanctuary after that Pope John Paul II called the representatives of false religions to pray for world peace at Assisi, Oct. 27, 1986.”I was the Apostolic Legate to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, I toured the town that day and noticed profanations… I saw Buddhists dance round the altar on which an image of Buddha, complete with incense, had been set in place of Christ. A Benedictine cried scandal and was led away by the police. I did not cry out, but my very heart was scandalized. You could see Catholics were confused by the looks on their faces as they watched the ceremony. I thought: what if the Buddhists were to distribute the bread dedicated to Buddha? All these people would take it. And they might even eat it with more devotion than they reserve for the Blessed Host. I repeat: I am not against initiatives of this kind. How could I be [going against the Pope]? But I fear the idea [of Vatican II Ecumenism, referred to in our previous posts: “Human Dignity…” and “Our Great Reversal“] that all religions are valid and that all lead to eternal salvation could make inroads and that people would not bother to worry about whether they are right.” – Cardinal Silvio Oddi, in 30 Days, Dec. 1990, p. 66 (emphasis, ours – the Discalced Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel)|
Collapse of the Highest Authority
What could have gone disastrously wrong in the life of the Hebrews of Old and which has been grievously repeated in the life of Catholics in the post-Vatican II era – as it is made evident by two parallel graphic pictures above: those presented by the Old Testament on the one hand; and, those presented by the scandalous papacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s predecessor?
1) In the First Book of Kings (1 Samuel in the New Biblical Versions), we read the sacrilegious arrogance and the openly perverse profligacy of the young sons of Heli (the high priest at that time): Ophni and Phinees – who were ministering as chief priests. They were warned by the high priest but they did not care. But when God made a visitation of the house of Heli, He pronounced, through the young Samuel, a curse not only against the two chief priests but against the whole house of the high priest; God also punished the high priest by a sudden shameful death: far advanced in years, on hearing that the Ark was taken [by the adversaries] fell from his chair backwards by the door, and broke his neck and died (4.18). Heli, the high priest, was actually a virtuous, God-fearing minister of Our Lord. In fact, he was so anxious about the Ark of the Covenant that the news of its capture by the Philistines affected him more than the news of the death of his sons and the great slaughter of the Hebrews. Why, then, was the high priest so chastised? God Himself answers: because he knew that his sons did wickedly, and did not chastise them (4.13). Bishop Frederick Justus Knecht, D.D., comments that Heli was “too good-natured and weak towards [his erring impious sons]… He was too indulgent; he said to himself that they would be more reasonable and would improve as they grow older. As he did not [chastise] them, he shared in their guilt, and was punished by God. Children, if they take advantage… bring unhappiness and even eternal ruin both on themselves and on their parents. It is a false love, and a great misfortune for children when parents are weak and over indulgent. Holy Scripture says: He that spareth the rod hateth his son… (Proverbs 13.24)” (A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture, pp. 214-215).
Now, if the desecration of the Tabernacle of Old, which is a parable of the time present (Hebrews 9.9), was such a great sin, how much more ought we – and most especially the Pope, who represents Our Lord Jesus Christ: the high priest over the house of God… by a greater and more perfect tabernacle… (Heb. 10.21; 9.11) – to guard against any desecration of our churches!
2) In the First Book of the Machabees, we read that in those days there went out of Israel wicked men, and they persuaded many, saying: Let us go, and make a covenant with the heathens that are round about us: for since we departed from them, many evils have befallen us. And the word seemed good in their eyes (1.12-13). Among the Jewish people, there were always to be found many who were prepared to sacrifice the Law of God either for their own ambitious ends or, as a manifestation of the chronic tendency amongst them, to be accepted and approved (read: relevancy) by their idolatrous neighbors by accommodating (read: updating, keeping abreast, bringing into harmony with the age) themselves as much as possible to their religious and social conditions (cf., T. Corbishley, S.J., “1 and 2 Machabees,” A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd.: 1953, 562b).
And … the king… gave them license to do after the ordinances of the heathens (1 Mach. 1.14). In parallel, Pope Paul VI, in his Dec. 7, 1965 speech at the end of the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council, explicitly points out what Vatican II’s business of aggiornamento, or the ‘updating’ of the Catholic religion in its relation to the modern man, is all about: “the religion of the God Who made Himself man, has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God.” That is, Pope Paul VI, who closed the Second Vatican Council and authorized, without, however, engaging Papal infallibility, and implemented its decisions, “thinks that thanks to the Council the [enmity,cf., Gen. 3.15, between Our Lord Jesus Christ (and His religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, James 1.27) and that filthy spirit and father of lies who is Satan (and his anti-Christ pseudo-religions: the Talmudic Jewry with its anti-Christ front: Freemasonry, the “Bible-only”-based ‘Christianity’ – cf., Joshua Jehuda in our post The Great Sign in Heaven under the section “The Other Apocalyptic Sign of November 1917” – the Greek Schism, Islam, etc.] – has not produced a clash, or a struggle, or an anathema [as was the case before Vatican II in the relation of the Catholic Religion with the other creeds] but an immense sympathy and a new attention to the needs of modern man [who, accustomed to claim: “For me…,” cf., our post Human Dignity…, sees reality independently of God and His Church which is… the ground and pillar of the truth, 1 Timothy 3.15]” (Prof. Romano Amerio, episcopal consultant, i.e., Vatican II peritus or theological expert, to the Central Preparatory Commission of the Council, Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century, Sarto House:1996, p. 95). The Spirit of Truth, promised by Him Who is the truth, Jn. 14.6, to abide with the Church for ever, Jn. 14.16,17, has finally found a common ground with the father of lies and his ‘children’ who exalt themselves, like unto God, cf., 2 Thessalonians 2.4, as the ground and standard of what is good and evil, cf. Gen. 3.5, thanks to the Second Vatican Council? Pope Paul VI must have forgotten the Apostolic teaching that there will never be a concord or any meeting point between Our Lord and Belial and their respective adherents (cf., 2 Corinthians 6.14).
This then is the New ‘Catholic’ position in relation to the pseudo-religions and the modern man steeped in diabolical error: between the one absolute truth of Jesus Christ and the camouflaged subtle lie of Satan, settle for any middle ground [a half-truth] “where each side can treat with the other on an equal footing [!]” (Vatican II teaching, Unitatis Redintegratio, par. 9, Nov. 21, 1964, which is one of those Council errors the traditional* Catholic priests must embrace, if they are to ‘officially’ secure a ‘legitimate’ priestly ministry in the ‘Church’ – as has already been granted to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and other Ecclesia Dei ‘conservative’ communities who ‘officially’ agreed with Rome to accept the whole of Vatican II without reserve). It is true that as to the ultimate issue at hand, there are only two sides involved: the party of God and the party of Satan; but it is not true, for obvious natural and theological reasons, that they can ever treat “with the other on an equal footing.”
* Those who are not under the Ecclesia Dei Commission of the Vatican – the ‘conservatives’ – and those who are not Sedevacantists (cf. our post “On the Sedevancatist Position: A Reply“.
Pope John XXIII, who called for and opened the session of Vatican II, proclaimed as one of the ‘pastoral‘ goals of the Council: “We do not want to prove who was right or who was wrong. All we want to say is, ‘Let us come together; let us make an end of our divisions… [emphases, ours]'” (in A. Hatch, A Man Named John, NY, USA: Hawthorn Books Inc., 1963, p. 192). But the divine imperative, against Pope John’s intention, is to preach the word: be instant in season or out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke… them sharply… in all… doctrine… that they may be sound in faith (2 Timothy 4.2; Titus 1.13). “… Our divisions…,” as if it were merely a human difference and not an infringement of the divine judgment: … If [they] will not hear the Church, let [them] be to thee as the heathen and publican (Mt. 18.17)… children of unbelief… upon [whom] cometh the anger of God… Have no fellowship… with them… but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5.6-11); and, as if the Church, the ground and pillar of the truth (2 Tim. 3.15), had become a partisan of the father of lies who, as such, is the author of all divisions: of man from God, and of man from his fellow. These ‘divisions’ are therefore the very making of those who, having known the Truth, have chosen, of their own accord or free will, to turn away from the light of the Truth wholly and entirely contained in the Catholic Faith alone with many confirming themselves to obstinacy in their errors rather than admit that they have been wrong: For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine: but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4.3-4). An impious implication of Pope John XXIII’s statement is that the God of the pre-Vatican II Church was also culpably responsible – in the sense that He, and the Church He was re-creating to His image and likeness, until Vatican II, was too dogmatic and absolutist-triumphalist – in bringing about that division of hell between Him and the angels who rebelled against Him.
Pope John Paul II, now up for Novus Ordo ‘beatification’, was even more revealing in specifying the norms for this New Order of ‘Catholic’ relations in accomodating the ‘religion’ of the anti-Christ (cf., 2 Thess. 2.4; Isaias 14.12-14) – “the religion of man who makes himself God” (Pope Paul VI above) – during his pontificate: “It is not the Church’s role to lecture unbelievers [the pillar and ground of the truth demoted to a position of a religious “lecturer” yet even then confined only to the four corners of a ‘Catholic’ room!]. We are engaging in a search along with our fellow men [Is there any other way, other truth, and other life aside from the Crucified Whom the anti-Catholic spirit is averse to?]. Let us avoid moralizing or the suggestion that we have a monopoly on the truth [Our Lord was not making a “suggestion” but solemnly declaring rather that the Spirit of Truth Who shall abide with the Church forever teaches her all truth (cf., Jn. 14.16; 16.13) and for that reason, the Catholic Church alone is the pillar and ground of the truth (2 Tim. 3.15) so that those who will not hear His Church must be treated as outcasts from the Kingdom of God (cf., Mt. 18.17)?”] (“Epistle to the Corinthians,” quoted in Readings in Church History, Issue No. 7-8, 1995, p. 19).
Unfortunately, Pope Benedict XVI has already reversed his adverse position (as Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) on his predecessor’s Ecumenical Prayer Meetings at Assisi in 1986 and in 2002. An Assisi ‘Anniversary’ is no longer doctrinally objectionable for him – as it seems [the Holy Father, as Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had to toe the line marked out by the Secretary of State – Vatican’s equivalent of a ‘Foreign Relations’ minister – in ‘commenting’ on the Vatican’s ‘disclosure’ of the Third Secret of Fatima].
By way of an specific answer to the question we posed at the head of this section, this great tribulation (to be seen and apprehended from the viewpoint of God as revealed by His living Word and not from our familiar limited view of an experientially palpable and shocking personal, familial, or national sense of calamity), is brought about by an unparalleled collapse of the highest authority in the house of God (1 Tim. 3.15), which is appointed to uphold the laws of the Divine Master. The succession of high priests of the New Covenant, from Pope John XXIII, who called for and opened the Second Vatican Council in 1962, to the ‘incumbent’ ‘presider’ of the College of Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI, allowed themselves to be the chief partisans [like the high priests Jason and Menelaus of Old who were already in ‘friendly’ ties with Antiochus “epiphanes” IV before that the latter could devastatingly enter into Jerusalem with triumph] of the modern ‘Judaizers’* who carry orders from the leaders of the Synagogue of Satan to “work in a still more efficient way for the disintegration of the Christian Church, by creating scandals** within her” (from the statements delivered at a convention of the Jewish B’nai-B’rith, directors of international freemasonry, in The London Catholic Gazette, “The Jewish Peril and the Catholic Church,” February 1936).
* Those ‘converted’ Jews who, in the time of the Apostles, strove to confine the early Church to a subordinate position to the Synagogue – those certain men… secretly entered in (who were written of long ago unto this judgment), ungodly men, turning the grace of God into riotousness, and denying the Only Sovereign Ruler and Our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 4).
**Especially the crime of Sodomy proliferated by the adherents of the Synagogue of Satan clad in Catholic clerical and episcopal garbs, who, according to the teachings of the Talmud of the Synagogue (Jacob Shachter & H. Freedman, BA, PhD, transl., Sanhedrin, London: The Soncino Press, 1935) are permitted to sodomize especially young boys under nine years of age hence they are referred to by the Apostle Jude in his Epistle, see above, as certain ungodly men secretly entered in turning the grace of God into riotousness and they have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not hid it… (Isaias 3.9)]
… We perish (Mt. 8.25).
The danger to the Church is at its highest: For what shall I strike you any more?… the whole head is sick… From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein (Isaias 1.5,6).
The swelling waves did not only batter the boat but even dared covered it so that as Our Lord prophesied: immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light (Mt. 24.29) – by the sun, according to St. Augustine, is meant Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself; by the moon, the Church, which will appear as involved in darkness (in the traditional Holy Catholic Haydock Bible). “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith shall always be preserved, etc.” (Our Lady of Fatima in the final clause of the Second Secret and introducing the Third Secret which shall speak of the fate of Church in Rome, following “etc.”) A counterfeit ‘Catholic Church’ – the making of Satan who transformeth himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11.14) – headed by the Pope, but a tiara-less Pope, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) the elect (Mt. 24.24) is the order of diabolical battle for the end-times as the use of violence did not ever threaten the Church to its foundation just as falsity is the more essentially Satanic (he is the father of lies, Jn. 8.44) than the other typical diabolical manifestation, violence (a murderer from the beginning, ibid.).
The Holy Catholic Church is in apparent defeat, trampled over by the Synagogue of Satan – in fulfillment, yet in a more shameful condition, of what the Sacred Scriptures foreshadows of her through the fate of Jerusalem succumbed to Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Mach. 1) who placed there a sinful nation, wicked men [who] fortified themselves therein (1 Mach. 1.36) and profaned the Temple. The Holy See, by the abdication of the successors to the Chair of Peter, from Pope John XXIII to the present, of the supreme apostolic authority of their office, has succumbed to be the seat of this counterfeit ‘Catholic Church’: And to the angel [that is, the bishop who as a priest is the angel of the Lord of hosts, Malachi 2.7) of the Church of Pergamus [which was a syncretistic pagan center, of incomparable religious splendor with political importance, that had many temples dedicated to different gods – a repeat in Assisi 1986 above]… I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is (Apocalypse 2.13).
… Where the seat of Satan is. Are the “Bible-only”-based sectarians right then in claiming that the Roman Pontiff is the anti-Christ? Let us allow the Word of God to settle this issue and also another one which is raised by the Sedevacantists [those ‘Catholics’ who hold to the Sacred Tradition of the Church but claim that Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI are ‘heretics’ and therefore “false popes” usurping the Chair (Latin, sede) and so the Holy See is actually vacant]. I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith (Apoc. 2.13). Yes, there were Popes who had failed Our Lord but never did they, especially the Popes from 1958 up to the present, infallibly impose errors, by solemn acts, to be adhered to by all Catholics throughout the world under pain of excommunication. No dogma, once infallibly taught, was ever infallibly denied. The Church did not perish, as the “Bible-only”-based sectarians dreamed, and will never perish. The true Church, even before her birth on Pentecost Day, already had the promise of her Lord and Divine Master: I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world (Mt. 28.20); and now that Satan is trying to overturn the Church to its foundation by cunningly lulling Peter into this unheard of… impious (2 Machabees 4.1) attitude of ‘Ecumenical Dialogue’ and rapprochement with the insatiable murderer of his Lord and Master who cried, His blood be upon us and upon our children (Mt. 27.25), Our Lord and Divine Master already prayed that [his] faith fail not… (Luke 22.31) thereby further guaranteeing His solemn promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against [His Church] (Mt. 16.18) as to exterminate her. However, in this assault of Satan, we are left but a few of many (Jeremias 42.2).
The life of the Church, like the life of the individual Christian, should share in all the aspects of Christ’s life on earth: tossed by the surging waves of Jewish hostility, then completely engulfed – as though Satan were stronger than Our Lord. Remember the word that I said to you: the servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (Jn. 15.20). Thus, both persecution and an apparent defeat of Our Lord on the Cross must figure in the Church until the end when her ultimate victory and that of Our Lord’s shall be established and confirmed for ever. Our Lord will rise again, triumphant, silencing all of a sudden the tumult of Satan and his forces. Meanwhile, while Peter is still wandering far off and willingly agree[ing] to all things that are requested of [him] (1 Mach. 8.1) by the Synagogue in healing the breach of the daughter of [God’s] people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: when there was no peace (Jeremias 8.9, 11) , let us, as the remnant of Our Crucified Lord and Divine Master following after the Christians of the 4th century who, sound in their faith, avoided their profaned places of worship that they might not take part in the wicked leaven of Arian heresy [now, the Modernist heresy] that infected the hierarchy of the Church, stand at the foot of the Cross in our Traditional Rite of Worship in Latin [our Traditional Latin Mass] with Our Blessed Mother and ‘the other Apostle’ – the new Mathathias of Old (cf., 1 Machabees 2) and the new St. Athanasius*** – the venerable Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and kindred traditional priestly and religious communities, praying also, as Our Lord did (cf., Lk. 22.31), for the conversion and speedy return of Peter who fell again by his presumptuous confidence in his own strength and resolution as Prince of the Apostles.
***The ‘excommunicated’ but orthodox voice and champion of the Catholic Faith in the 4th century when the Pope, Liberius, became part of the internal “dissolution of the whole Church” as St. Basil claimed in his letter to St. Athanasius in 371.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle… And we charge you, brethren, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us… Yet do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (2 Thessalonians 2.14).
[Photos, courtesy of Tradition in Action]