A situation analogous to that in China can be foreseen: an “official” break-away church that follows government decrees and an underground church that still maintains the central truths of reason and faith. One suspects that the degree of hatred for the Church is more widespread and deeper than we like to admit. The situation, however, is not so different from what Scripture would have us expect.
Things change almost too rapidly for us to appreciate their scope. With legalized same-sex “marriages,” as they are equivocally called, in which children are adopted, we will have mandates to educate them in Catholic schools as if no problem exists. The children, legally deprived of a mother or a father, will be presented as from “normal” families. Several writers have suggested that parents teaching children that problems exist with homosexual life or adoption will be investigated for “child abuse.”
Kevin O'Brien then continues the theme:
I will be bold enough to add another prophecy, based simply upon observing what we see today and what we've seen in the past generation. And that is this: two-thirds of the Catholic bishops in the United States will collude with the spirit of antichrist in the coming generation and will glibly and complacently join in the fun of the sham Christ and his sham Church. (Emphasis and link in original--E.M.)I've written in a similar vein, myself. Here's something from a post I wrote during the Obama/Notre Dame kerfuffle:
Barack Obama has from even before his election adopted a strategy of "divide and conquer" when it comes to American Catholics. His goal is to associate with, reward, appoint, and honor Catholics who either openly and fiercely dissent from the Church's teachings on abortion, or who are at least willing to be good little quislings and keep their mouths shut about it in order to curry favor with him. At the same time, he doesn't shy away from marginalizing and excluding Catholics who are faithful to the Church's teachings, so much so that he has thus far refused to name a single pro-life Catholic to any position in his administration, not even to serve as ambassador to the Holy See. It is clear that Barack Obama thinks there are two kinds of Catholics: the ones who actually accept all that superstitious nonsense about the right of the unborn to keep on living instead of being ripped apart in their mother's wombs, and the enlightened ones who recognize that unfortunate viewpoint for the medieval nonsense it is, and who are more willing to follow the One than they are to follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Obama has gone out of his way to show which kind of Catholic he prefers. [...]Can anyone doubt that the future official state-approved American Catholic church, with no ties to Rome and complete obeisance to the secular laws, will be filled with, staffed by, and smiled upon by the Right Sort of Catholics?
All the good little Catholic quislings who have made this grand illusion possible should be proud of themselves. Thanks to their actions, Americans are beginning to get the idea: there is a Right Sort of Catholic, and there is a Wrong Sort. And the Right Sort are the ones who think that the Church's teachings about abortion and other aspects of sexual morality are optional, regrettable, or wrong; but the Wrong Sort are the ones who accept the fullness of the Church's teaching in these and in all areas, and who are not willing to prostitute themselves and their faith for the sake of political profit.
Here is where non-Catholic observers tend to say, "Wait a minute, though. This is America. We have a Constitutional protection for freedom of religion. You won't really be persecuted for belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, and the idea that a competing state-approved fake Catholic church would ever be established is a complete phantom." These observers may be partly right--it may take longer for the dismantling of the Constitutional protection, and the rebirth of "freedom of religion" to mean "freedom of worship" as is presently underway, to reach their full maturity. But it is not right to say that no such curtailing of religious freedoms could ever happen; they are happening now.
Take the increasing mandate from various states to compel even religious adoption agencies to be prepared to place children with unmarried fornicating couples, same-sex couples, and the like, regardless of their religion's long-established teaching on the evils of fornication and homosexual sex acts and the right of children to be raised by a married mother and father--preferably their own, but acceptably a different married couple if the birth parents are unable or unwilling to fulfill their parental duties. In the eyes of these states, religion is simply a private, personal thing that should not in any way influence a person's actual conduct in public, let alone the policies and practices of an organization which owes its existence to the charitable teachings and practices of any specific faith. What I termed in my earlier post the "Right Sort" of Catholic agrees fully with this premise; he or she might state it this way, "I have the luxury of being able to ponder esoteric notions of good and evil, but children need homes and same-sex or fornicating couples have the right to be given children they can't or don't wish to make either naturally or by manufacturing." Only the "Wrong Sort" of Catholic will insist that virtue is meaningless when it does not lead to right action, and that grave harm is done when innocent children are deliberately placed in situations of intrinsic evil and inherent instability.
Or take the situation of Catholic health care agencies and health insurance companies being forced to pay for contraception. The state is using its brute power to force the Church to pay for something that is gravely, intrinsically evil, something that can (given a person's knowledge) kill the soul and destroy the user's chance for eternal happiness. Once again, the Right Sort of Catholic will say, "I don't really have a problem with birth control myself, and certainly it ought to be used to decrease the surplus population. Even if I did have some sort of mystic, ethical problem with it, though, the Church shouldn't be able to stand by and not pay for it in a society whose members demand that it be given to them free of charge. Might makes right, after all." Only the Wrong Sort of Catholic will point out that no one has the right to mandate access to grave evil, let alone to force others to pay for it.
How long will it be before the Right Sort of Catholics decide to start their own version of the Catholic Church? Not as long as we'd like, I suspect; I know for a fact that "womenpriest" conference attendees were already discussing this some twenty years ago (we had a family friend who was involved. Long story), and I can't imagine that today's crop of would-be Catholic priestesses are more patient and more hopeful of revamping the Church in their own image. In fact, by faking their "ordinations" and presiding over totally fake and completely inefficacious "sacraments," it may be argued that the creation of the future state-approved, fake, American Catholic church is already well underway.
So far, of course, the "Roman Catholic Womenpriest" movement claims (despite their excommunications) to be working inside the Catholic Church. They are not, of course. Their actions have placed them outside the Church--but they claim to be inside, and is any secular agency going to refute that claim? Of course not. I could easily see, in fact, a situation in which the "Womenpriest" branch of the fake "Catholic" church grows large enough to become the preferred church of politicians, glad-handers, movers and shakers, and others who want to be Catholic without actually having to follow any of the Church's teachings--sort of like the fake "Catholic" church this fellow belongs to.
In fact, I can see the situation unfolding as it might in some future dramatic retelling: America, having preserved religious freedom for over two centuries, is discovering what other nations at other times have discovered: that the freedom of churches ultimately will clash with the power of the state, which believes itself to be the only true arbiter of men's conduct and ideas. To proceed forward with the imposition of a totally amoral, secular, profit-driven view of humanity, though, the state must once and for all cripple religion, and the state's especial enemy is always going to be the Catholic Church, which has managed for two thousand years to outlive tyranny and shovel dirt on the graves of dictatorships. An epic drama looms as these two forces draw closer and closer to their inevitable collision...
The stage is already set. The house lights are going down; the murmurs of the audience grow softer. The first act in the play is about to begin--and there's precious little time to change what promises to be a tragedy into anything else.