in CFC-FFL already experienced such a
time of purification (and continue to
experience it). CFC-FFL is the remnant
that the Lord has restored, true to its
authentic charism. If CFC-FFL is a microcosm
of the Church that is beset by veering
away, by infidelities to covenant, by
marginalizing Christ, by assaulting truth
and justice, by attacks on the hierarchy,
then a smaller and leaner Church, but
more firmly grounded and on the steady
path of holiness, is to be desired. Jesus
does speak about a "little flock"
(Lk 12:32). Given that the enemy is already
within the Church (the liberal/progressives,
the radical feminists, the pro-abortion,
the homosexualists, the dissident clergy
and theologians), a purge may be a necessity.
Then we start over again. This may be
the only way that we can answer in the
positive the question of Jesus, "But
when the Son of Man comes, will he find
faith on earth?" (Lk 18:8b).
Editorial: Is the Catholic Church
in that Time of Purification that Ratzinger
Editorial By John-Henry Westen
7, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- The near-constant battering of the Catholic
Church during the past month over the
sexual abuse scandal has most Catholics
reeling and much of the media in a feeding
frenzy, seeing the scandals as an opportunity
to bring down the archenemy of the sexual
revolution. This latest cycle of the sexual
abuse scandal is different from that which
took place in Canada and Boston years
ago. It involves new and disastrous revelations
daily and from all over Europe and North
America, with sustained coverage in the
over 35 years Pope Benedict XVI has predicted
a smaller, more faithful church. The 1970
book Glaube und Zukunft, based on five
lectures by then-Fr. Joseph Ratzinger
given in 1969 at radio stations in Baviera
and Hessen, is the first recorded mentioning
of this prediction.
those lectures the future pope said, "From
today's crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow
that will have lost a great deal. She
will be small and, to a large extent,
will have to start from the beginning.
She will no longer be able to fill many
of the buildings created in her period
of great splendour. Because of the smaller
number of her followers, she will lose
many of her privileges in society."
discussing the matter with my colleagues
the consensus is that this crisis is definitely
part of that long-predicted purification.
Unfortunately, however, it comes in a
very confusing package. It would be easier
to see truth in an obvious conflict between
good and evil: where, for instance, some
in the church were advocating for abortion
or at least ‘choice,’ versus
those who maintained the defense of the
sanctity of human life.
the murkiness of this crisis has the influence
of evil written all over it.
abuse is not exclusively tied to liberalism
in the Church, such as was the case with
former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland.
Weakland was a notorious liberal who,
in addition to admitting to transferring
priests with a history of sexual misconduct
back into churches without alerting parishioners,
admitted to homosexual encounters while
serving as archbishop. Weakland retired
in 2002 after it was revealed he paid
hundreds of thousands of church dollars
to a former homosexual lover who threatened
to publicly accuse Weakland of sexually
the ongoing and mindboggling revelations
of abuse by Legion of Christ founder Fr.
Marcial Maciel Degollado show that this
crisis touches even what seemed like an
oasis of orthodoxy.
crisis reminds me of Christ’s prophecy
in Matthew 24:24 where he warns that times
will come when ‘even the elect’
will be deceived.
shakes the faith of many as even bishops
are found to be guilty not only of horrendous
cover-ups and unthinkable enabling by
shuffling around abusive clergy, but also
of sexual abuse and perverse activity
revelations about Norwegian Bishop Georg
Muller are devastating. Muller, 58, who
resigned last year saying only he was
unsuited to the work, now has admitted
that the reason for his resignation was
his sexual abuse of a 10-year-old choir
boy 20 years ago.
another devastating revelation this week,
retired French Bishop Jacques Gaillot
of Evreux in France said of his taking
in a convicted Canadian pedophile priest
in 1987, who later went on to abuse children
in France: "back then, that's how
the Church operated."
at the same time the media’s coverage
on the scandal must be viewed with a very
critical eye, as was seen in the recent
attempts by the New York Times to unjustly
smear Pope Benedict.
Colleen Raezler of the Culture and Media
Institute points out, the broadcast media
relentlessly pursued their objective of
smearing the Catholic Church during the
holiest week of the year for Catholics.
CBS and NBC featured 26 stories during
Holy Week about Pope Benedict’s
perceived role in the sex abuse scandal
the Catholic Church is now facing,”
she reported. “Only one story focused
on the measures the church has adopted
in recent years to prevent abuse. In 69
percent of the stories (18 out of 26)
reporters used language that presumed
the pope’s guilt. Only one made
specific mention of the recent drop in
the incidence of abuse allegations against
the Catholic Church.”
the media is now focused on the Catholic
Church, this is an attack on all Christianity
and Christian morality. That is why Lutheran
pastor John Stephenson has come out so
strongly in defense of the pope.
the church survive the crisis? Believing
Catholics say that it will, since Christ
promised (Matthew 16:18) that the gates
of Hell would not overcome it. But, as
the pope predicted, it will likely be
a smaller and purer church.
Catholics are ramping up their prayers
for the church, and the pope. The Knights
of Columbus are encouraging all their
members around the world to join in a
special novena for Pope Benedict XVI,
beginning Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11,
and concluding Monday, April 19, the fifth
anniversary of the Pope Benedict’s
election in 2005.
Catholic author Michael O’Brien,
a good friend of mine, spoke with me today
about the crisis. Michael warns of where
he sees things going from a spiritual
vantage point. And while his is a stark
vision, it remains hopeful.
famed author of the prophetic novel Father
Elijah said: “It has been ever thus
with the Church. Satan sifts us like wheat.”
a generation (if we should be granted
that much more time in history), the aging
self-deceived liberalism of the Churches
in the West will be gone, as dead wood
that has dropped from the tree. At the
same time, the internal rot that has disguised
itself as orthodoxy will have been burned
away by trial and tribulation, indeed
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."