Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Our Lord promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against [His Church] (Mt. 16.18). However, it does not mean that the gates of hell – that is, the diabolical power or the whole strength of what Satan can do, either by himself or with his agents (visible and invisible) – can not assail her and history attests to this. But how far shall Our Lord permit the diabolical forces to assault His Church here on earth?
In our post, “The Great Tribulation,” we pointed out the highest bulwark (cf., Sophonias 1.16) of the Church – the See of Peter – covered, eclipsed as it were, by the waves of the great tempest (today’s Gospel, Mt. 8.23-27). Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat (Lk. 22.31). Satan succeeded to effect a seeming “dissolution of the Church” (St. Basil in a letter to St. Athanasius, in “The Great Tribulation”) by a seeming “dissolution” of the highest authority in the Church. A “seeming dissolution”* for the ancient infernal serpent knew that he cannot overturn the Church from its foundation.
* “The Church attacking itself.” – Pope Paul VI, in our post “Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign”)
The height of Satan’s exploit of the weakness of Peter, probably that mystery of iniquity (2 Thess. 2.7) that was already working even when the Apostles were still around, was finally revealed by the heavens in the 1830s when Pope Gregory XVI, after examining papers from the 1789 revolutionaries which fell into his hands, addressed the bishops of the Catholic world on August 15, 1832 with the Encyclical “Mirari vos”:
“Truly indeed we can say that this is the hour granted to the power of darkness to grind the elect as wheat [see the admonition of Our Lord to Peter in Lk. 22.31 above]… Evil comes out of Secret Societies [of the Freemasons], bottomless abyss of misery, which those conspiring societies have dug and in which heresies and sects have, as may be said, vomited as in a privy all they hold of licentiousness, sacrilege and blasphemy.”
Eighteen days before his death on May 13, 1846, Pope Gregory put the “secret” papers, now known as the “Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita,” in the hands of Jacques Cretineau-Joly, a French journalist and historian, which the latter published in 1859, at the behest of Pope Pius IX, in his 2-volume work “L’eglise Romaine en face de la Revolution” (“The Roman Church in the face of the Revolution”**). These same “secret” papers were contained in Msgr. George E. Dillon’s book, “Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked,” which Pope Leo XIII ordered to be prepared and published in an Italian version.
** Republished in Msgr. Delassus’ work “The Anti-Christian Conspiracy” by Desclee de Brouwer in 1910, Vol. III, pp. 1035-1092.
The Successors of St. Peter mentioned had these “secret” papers published so that the plans of the Secret Societies of the Synagogue to subvert the Church might be made known to the whole of Christendom and thereby put the Church on guard as to prevent, then hopefully, such “universal catastrophe” – the equivalent of St. Matthew’s great tempest in Greek – from taking place.
“The Permanent Instruction of Alta Vendita” in an outline
“From the start, the document tells a process that will take decades to accomplish. Those who drew up the document knew that they would not see its fulfillment. They were inaugurating a work that would be carried on by succeeding generations of the initiated. The ‘Permanent Instruction’ says, ‘In our ranks the soldier dies and the struggle goes on.’
The ‘Instruction called for the dissemination of liberal ideas and axioms throughout society and within the institutions of the Catholic Church so that the laity, seminarians, clerics and prelates would, over the years, gradually be imbued with the revolutionary principles.
In time, this mind-set would be so pervasive that priests would be ordained, bishops would be consecrated and cardinals would be nominated whose thinking was in step with the modern [‘enlightenment’] thought rooted in the French Revolution’s ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man’ and other ‘Principles of 1789’ (equality of religions, separation of Church and State, religious pluralism, etc.).
[And the ultimate aim?] Eventually, a Pope would be elected from these ranks who would lead the Church on the path of ‘enlightenment’ and ‘renewal’. They stated that it was not their aim to place a Freemason on the Chair of Peter. Their goal was to effect an environment that would eventually produce a Pope and a hierarchy won over to the ideas of liberal ‘Catholicism’, all the while believing themselves to be faithful Catholics.
These [Popes] then would no longer [staunchly] oppose the modern ideas of the Revolution (as had been the consistent stand of [the Successors of St. Peter] from 1789 until 1958 – the death of Pope Pius XII – who [with one solemn infallible voice] condemned these liberal principles) but would [themselves circulate and preach though – and this is the diabolical trick – without the exercise of Papal Infallibility according to the grounds laid down by the First Vatican Council and yet to this effect under the pretext of an absolute ‘obedience’ to everything that the Pope says and does]. The end result would be a ‘Catholic’ clergy and laity marching under the banner of the ‘Enlightenment’, all the while thinking they are marching under the banner of the Apostolic keys” (J. Vennari, “‘The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita’: A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church,” Catholic Family News, February 1997, pp.2-3).
The Subversion of the Church through the Subversion of the Holy See According to the “Instruction”:
“The task that we are going to undertake is not the work of a day, or of a month, or of a year; it may last several years, perhaps a century… [note the diabolical mind that planned and the spirit that persisted to sustain the anti-Catholic struggle that though calculated to even last for centuries yet sure of and categorical in its success!]
We do not intend to win the Popes to our cause, to make them neophytes of our principles, propagators of our ideas. That would we a ridiculous dream [as we already stated above, the ancient infernal serpent knew that he can never overturn the Church from her foundation]… That… would ruin us… What we must ask for, what we should look for and wait for… is a Pope according to our needs…
Now then, to assure ourselves a Pope of the required dimensions, it is a question first of shaping for this Pope a generation worthy of the reign we are dreaming of. Leave old people and those of mature age aside; go to the youth, and if it is possible, even to the children.
… You will contrive for yourselves, at little cost, a reputation as good Catholics and pure patriots. This reputation will put access to our doctrines into the midst of the young clergy, as well as deeply into the monasteries. In a few years, by the force of things, this young clergy will have overrun all the functions; they will form the sovereign’s council, they will be called to choose a Pontiff who should reign. And this Pontiff, like most of his contemporaries, will be necessarily more or less imbued with the [revolutionary] Italian and humanitarian principles that we are going to begin to put into circulation. It is a small grain of black mustard that we are entrusting to the ground; but the sunshine of justice will develop it up to the highest power, and you will see one day what a rich harvest [referring to the New ‘Catholic Church’] this small seed will produce.
… Let the clergy march under your standard, always believing that they are marching under the banner of the Apostolic Keys. You intend to make the last vestige of tyrants and the oppressors disappear; lay your snares like Simon Bar-Jona; lay them in the sacristies, the seminaries and the monasteries… we promise you a catch more miraculous… You will bring friends [like Bugnini, architect of the New “Mass” of Pope Paul VI, cf. our post “The Catholic Sanctuary Prefigured in the Old Testament II”] around the Apostolic Chair. You will have preached [though of course without the exercise of Papal Infallibility as we have already noted above] a revolution in tiara and in cope, marching with the cross and the banner [as we have noted in our post, “On the Sedevacantist Position: A Reply II,” our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has yet to repudiate as totally absurd the effort to strike a point where the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the diabolical ideas of the Freemasons could be reconciled].” (in Mr. J. Vennari, ibid.).
In 1888, Pope Leo XIII received a vision which confirms the Synagogue-Masonic plot to use the Holy See itself, through the weakness of its occupants, in “preaching” – though, again for this is an important distinction, not in the official capacity as the Supreme Doctor and Pastor of the Universal Church exercising Papal Infallibility – the diabolical 1789 principles. This vision made the Pontiff compose a long Prayer to St. Michael – the short form of which was ordered to be recited at the end of the Traditional Low Mass in Latin but was suppressed after Vatican II. In the long version, Pope Leo calls the devil “this wicked dragon,” and accuses Satan and his “apostate host” thus:
“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions.
In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.”
The vision and the Pontiff’s great alarm as to implore the aid of the Prince of the heavenly hosts for the Holy See help us better recognize the church of Pergamus in the Book of the Apocalypse (2.12-13) to be the church of Rome in particular (for the individual churches reproached by Our Lord in the Book of the Apocalypse is also understood as the Catholic Church rebuked in her condition during this end-times period and during that period which shall precede the consummation): And to the angel [that is, in Scriptural language, the chief priest, cf. Malachi 2.7, or the bishop, cf. Acts 20.28: the episkopoi (Gk), episcopi (Latin) ] of the church of Pergamus write: These things, saith He, that hath the sharp two edged sword: I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is: and thou holdest fast My Name, and has not denied my faith (cf., also our posts “The ‘Great Tribulation'”, and “On the Sedevacantist Position: A Reply II”).
The Lord seems to sleep as Peter has been voyaging on a path where his Lord and Master would never oblige Himself to be found at its end – the present ecumenical path of religious syncretism where those who serve the high altar of the Lord and the altar of Belial could worship in a way which pleases them as suits their present circumstances unmolested by threats of “anathema” and eternal damnation. “If the disciples,” says a divine in the celebrated edition of the Douay-Rheims Version prepared by Fr. Haydock, “in [following] Our Lord Jesus Christ, if His presence did not free them from perils, to what frightful storms do those persons expose themselves, who undertake the voyage of the present life without Him?” Or, if we may here add, in saying “with Him, still” but dare to edit or revise the directions He has already laid? The heavens has warned us already through Our Lady in Her great apparition in Fatima, Portugal that the ultimate consequence of Peter who savourest not the things of God, but the things that are of men (Mt. 16.23) is the “annihilation of many nations”- annihilation of many souls! Then already “late,” as Our Lady points out, Peter will finally heed God’s request to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart – a great number of souls will have already been lost and doomed to perdition.
“Faithful souls,” says the same divine, “ought, from the example here [in today’s Gospel] offered them, to rise superior to every storm and tempest, by invoking the all-powerful and ever ready assistance of heaven, and by always calling in God to their help before they undertake any thing of moment.” And, if we may add, when God presents His assistance, as through His unsettling message and plan of action He coursed through Our Blessed Mother in Fatima, for example, we – especially when God raises us to commanding positions – must be ready to abandon our sufficiency and security in our grand plans of how things ought to turn about.