CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CRISIS
History and Analysis (New Version)
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By Bernie V. Lopez
Facebook “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” / “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind”
VATICAN ‘CIVIL WAR’ TRIGGERS CHURCH CRISIS
The war between Conservatives and Liberals is the catalyst to the Church crisis.
Vatican II intensifies the age-old war between Conservatives and Liberals. When Liberal Pope Francis cleanses the Roman Curia of Conservatives, they retaliate by accusing him of ‘blasphemy’ and ‘heresy’, the start of the ‘civil war’. Our Lady of Fatima prophesied the crisis.
(Author’s Note. This article is based on research and an interview with a Filipino layman who worked intimately with the Papacy for 20-odd years, and who requested anonymity.)
The Catholic Church is undergoing a deep crisis right now, due to a centuries-old war between Conservatives and Liberals.The conflict has intensified since Vatican II (1962-1965), the Encyclical of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), more than half a century ago.
Vatican II aimed to address reforms in a Church in fear of the mass exodus to many small sects, like the Born Again groups. This reform movement intensified and widened the splinter between Conservatives and Liberals.
The Conservatives and Liberals are like oil and water in terms of issues like dogma, liturgy, and ecumenism. Both sides will hardly budge or compromise. One says Latin masses should be revived, the other says they are obsolete. The biggest issue is ecumenism, where Vatican II aimed at consolidating various Christians denominations.
The Amazon Synod exemplifies the conflict. The Conservatives accused liberal Pope Francis of desecrating the sanctity of the Vatican by bringing in an Amazon icon. The Liberals said he was simply reaching out to the pagans in the spirit of ecumenism of Vatican II.
As soon as Pope Francis ascended the throne, the first thing he did was to secretly cleanse the Vatican of Conservatives, especially in the Roman Curia, the most powerful central government of the Church. It was a Blitzkrieg cleansing, within six months upon ascending the throne, something Saint Pope John Paull II (JP2) and Pope Benedict failed to do, surprising Vatican media. Pope Benedict, himself a Conservative, was forced to resign because he could not handle the growing power of Conservatives in the Roman Curia, and he failed to address critical issues such as the Vatican Bank scandals and the global Pedophile Epidemic. A major catalyst to the Church crisis is the Pedophile Epidemic, where thousands of prelates have been sued in US and EU courts at a cost of millions of Church dollars.
In retaliation, the Conservatives launched a vicious counter-attack, accusing Pope Francis of ‘blasphemy’ and ‘heresy’, sometimes without presenting clear evidence. For example, a small anti-Pope Social Media outfit accused him of ‘heresy’ by pitting his statements against those of JP2 without citing the statements themselves, and without explaining where was the heresy. It was simply the opinion of the article that JP2 was right and Pope Francis was wrong. The anti-Pope movement gained ground rapidly in Social Media.
The Pandemic somehow dissipated the Vatican Civil War. Suddenly, Pope Francis regained his charisma through his global calls to prayer, global online telecast of his masses viewed by millions, like on Easter and Pentecost, and his Urbi et Orbi homily which went viral.
Marian scholars cite the Fatima Third Secret prophecies of a ‘great apostasy’ at the top, a major schism or revolt against the Papacy. Today, it promises to dwarf Luther’s Reformation movement in 1517, which triggered the Protestant revolt, the largest splinter from the Church ever.
Pope Francis infuriated Conservatives when he said, “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”. It was not a justification of gays, but simply a call to respect of them as human beings. In 2015, his dialogues with LGBT groups scandalized the Conservatives. The gay issue, as well as the abortion problem, are big factors in the Church in crisis.
THREE POPES IN THE CHURCH CRISIS
Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and Francis
Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and Francis try to manage the crisis in vain. In truth, the unending war is centuries old, caused by Man’s sins, including the Vatican’s.
St. John Paul II (JP2, 1978-2005) was a staunch Liberal surrounded by Conservatives who have been in power for more than a century. His campaign to fulfill the reforms in Vatican II thus hit a snag. When the Vatican Bank corruption, and Pedophile Epidemic exploded in Media, JP2 shrewdly appointed Conservative Cardinal Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict, to handle his fellow Conservatives for him. For this, Ratzinger was labelled the German Shepherd. But one cannot dislodge a century of Conservative ‘rule’ in a single sweep. When Ratzinger failed to control fellow Conservatives, and JP2’s Parkinson Disease was worsening, he advised JP2 to resign. Instead, JP2 formed a commission to handle the ‘mafia problem’, which also advised him to resign. It was a dead end.
When Ratzinger ascended the throne as Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013), he still could not handle the Conservatives, especially in the powerful Roman Curia, right in front of his nose. As mentioned in Part 1, he was forced to resign, unable to handle the Vatican Bank scandal, and the Pedophile Epidemic. All this was interlaced with the growing Church crisis. Satan works hard to deepen this crisis with Cardinals within the Vatican as ‘agents’ without them knowing it.
Pope Benedict knew that his most likely successor was Cardinal Bergoglio, future Pope Francis, because he was the second in rank in the Papal Conclave (election) that put him into power. It was perhaps God’s will to end the reign of the Conservatives, root cause of the Church crisis.
Pope Benedict summoned Cardinal Bergoglio, future Pope Francis, to his villa to forge a strategy to solve the looming Church crisis by finally neutralizing the century-old reign of the Conservatives. Conservative Pope Benedict and Liberal Pope Francis were like oil and water in terms of policies and dogma. But they set their differences aside to solve the crisis of the century. They in fact became intimate friends. Oil merged with water. (Watch the movie Two Popes).
Finally, Cardinal Bergoglio ascended the throne as Pope Francis (2013 – present), the first Jesuit Pope of history, the first Liberal after dozens of Conservative Popes. Through the centuries, the Jesuits had a reputation as radical and liberal reformists after they successfully launched the Counter-Reformation, the Church response to Luther’s Reformation in 1517. The Jesuits became the vanguard of the Papacy, an armor defending the Vatican beleaguered by the Protestant schism. How Pope Francis handled the Conservatives was covered in Part 1.
CHURCH CRISIS PERSPECTIVES.
In summary, the perceived major catalysts to the Church crisis include 1) the Vatican Bank scandals, 2) the global Pedophile Epidemic, 3) the global spread of abortion, termed ‘legalized murder’, where many governments and the U.N. started funding abortion clinics and pressuring hospitals to accept abortion patients, and 4) the gay and mix-marriage issues, 5) issues involving rituals, ecumenism, and dogma. The rise of Satanism, especially in the U.S., is regarded more of an effect rather than a cause of the crisis.
The Church is as human as it is divine, capable of blunders and corruption. The Church and the Vatican are not beyond criticism. In truth, the crisis is caused by Man’s sins, including the Vatican’s. We must pray for the Pope, the Conservatives, the Liberals, and the Church in crisis. Jesus promised that his Church will prevail until his second coming, in spite the violent storms Satan brews.
It is better for the faithful to stay neutral in such complex theological issues. Let the Conservatives and Liberals fight it out. Faith has two aspects, the intellectual and the spiritual, the mind and the heart. On the mind level, it is easy to be confused (dogma, canon law, etc.). You have to prove or disprove. But on the heart level, everything becomes crystal clear.
“Praise to you, Oh Father, for what you have hidden from the wise, you have revealed to little children” Luke 10:21. Faith is based less on ‘logic’, the mind, and more on ‘meta-logic’, the heart, that children and peasants understand and Cardinals cannot see. Our Lady chose uneducated peasants as visionaries, not Cardinals, who were the devil’s advocate. This was true in Fatima, Guadalupe, Garabandal, and other Marian apparitions. The Lord prefers beggars rather than bishops. The proud shall be spurned and the humble proclaimed.
No one knows what happens after the reign of Pope Francis amid many doomsday speculations. Do not fret about the Church crisis. God is on top of that. We need only to pray for everyone, both sides of the civil war, and God will take care of everything in his time in his way.
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By Bernie V. Lopez
Facebook “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” / “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind”Columnist Daily Tribune – Blogger – Healing Ministry – ex-University Professor (Ateneo) Documentary Producer/Director (ex-ABS-CBN, freelance) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas)