Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A blast from the past

Well, it's Back to the Future Day, which means that it's the day that fictional characters from a movie set in 1985 traveled 30 years into the future, to October 21, 2015.  The funniest part of all the various movie references I've seen in recent weeks is the strange coincidence that the Chicago Cubs still have a shot (however small) at the World Series (in the movie, they were the alleged winners of the 2015 Series--at least, before Marty McFly wrecks the timeline). But naturally a lot of people have been talking about how the 2015 of the movie creators' imagination compares to the real year (obviously, we still need real hoverboards).

Coincidentally, I've just stumbled across something that I consider a real blast from the past, courtesy of Patrick Archbold who is now apparently guest-blogging at a site called What's Up with the Synod: Liveblogging the Apocalypse.  Patrick has apparently decided that the Synod, and the state of the Church today generally, is explained by Fatima:
Besides the prophecies and teaching about the end-times proper (The time of Antichrist, the Return of Christ, and the end of the world), no other period in Church history has been prophesied more than the end of this current era. More on that in a moment.
How can I be so sure that our era is the era so long taught and prophesied? Fatima, that is why. Fatima is not a stand-alone event in the history of private revelation. The warnings and promises of Fatima concur precisely with the teaching of the fathers and doctors and copious amounts of approved private revelation from saints over millennia.
A very short summary of events looks like this:
The Church is in crisis and seems close to its eclipse.
The climax of this Church crisis occurs concurrently with a global war (particularly in Europe and starting with civil strife/war breaking out in France and Italy),
grievous but short-term persecution of the clergy and faithful,
AND a heaven sent chastisement [...]
How long until such things might happen? We don’t know. If one looked at the cold war of the sixties and the devastation to the Church and the liturgy that occurred with and after the Second Vatican Council, one might have been convinced that the moment had come. But in retrospect, we now know that those events were just the opening volleys in a war that has brought us to this moment. Truly, in very real ways, the errors of Russia have spread around the world in the post cold war era. They are now so pervasive that prelates at the very top of Church hierarchy espouse them daily without blush and to much applause. (All emphases in original.)
Now, why is this a blast from the past?  As a teen who was nearly the same age as Marty McFly in 1985, I got sort of caught up in Catholic-apocalyptic stuff.  It started with my avid reading of the ultra-conservative Catholic paper The Wanderer, which I still respect (which is why this blog still hosts the "History of the Wanderer" posts you can find in the sidebar).  Unfortunately, from The Wanderer it was (at times) a relatively short step to all sorts of books, videos, and so on which held as their main position the idea that the Church was in a terrible state of crisis, that most if not all bishops hated the Mass (the real one, anyway), and that it was the supreme and sublime duty of every true faithful lay Catholic to resist at all costs anything the institutional Church came up with, because the institutional Church was so corrupt and rotten that pretty soon she would fall completely apart, save for a brave but tattered remnant of those select elite people who really, truly understood why Latin is the only heavenly language, why lay EMHCs were a mark of the devil, why women on the altar were all Jezebels who should probably be fed to wild dogs like their Biblical predecessor, why the sight of a woman with an uncovered head at Mass was deeply disgusting to Our Lord, why the Three Days of Darkness which would sweep the wicked from the world in violence and terror and leave only the faithful behind was really proof of God's great mercy, and why all of these things had been somehow predicted by--you guessed it--the seers of Fatima.  Oh, but not the false Lucia who was paraded in public from time to time and who never really distanced herself from the corrupt Church; no, everyone who was anyone knew that the real Lucia was being kept a prisoner somewhere so she couldn't verify to everyone the true contents of the Third Secret (which would say something like the mark of an anti-pope was his willingness to pray the Mass in the vernacular) or that Fatima hadn't really been consecrated to Mary properly as of yet.

I've written about some of these sorts of things here and here before. The important point is this: when I gave credence to writings about how most of the Church was corrupt beyond belief, and few bishops or even priests actually believed in God or in Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist, or that the hope of the future of the Church rested in a tiny band of faithful Catholics most of whom lived in the US and spent their leisure hours watching videos about how God was going to smack down the rest of the world any day now, I was not exactly brimming over with charity toward my fellow men, let alone my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I can only be thankful that those days were long before the Internet, when websites and other sources are only too ready to steer Catholics onto the shoals of sedevacantism. I can also be grateful that thirty years later I'm not still caught up in that sort of thing, but have been blessed beyond belief to see the face of Christ in many bishops, priests, and lay people who share with me their faith in Christ and love for Him in a million little ways, none of which are in any way diminished if they don't particularly like the Latin hymns and Mass parts I honestly do prefer, or if they assist Father at Mass as EMHCs.

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