Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist
One can imagine a world in which life simply became progressively worse without also becoming increasingly absurd, but such is not the world in which we live today. Our Church and world have gotten astonishingly worse since Francis introduced us to his blasphemous Pachamama in October 2019, and every single wicked development has also involved an aspect of phenomenal absurdity. We do not necessarily hear the demons laughing uproariously, but surely they are.
The Atlantic magazine’s recent piece on the Rosary, How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary, garnered considerable attention for its utterly bizarre attack on traditional Catholics:
“Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics. On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal. . . . The rosary—in these hands—is anything but holy.”
As Michael Matt highlighted in a recent Remnant Underground, some of the most persuasive thinkers in the secular world (most notably, Tucker Carlson) have started to describe today’s mounting worldwide crisis in terms of a spiritual battle. Such realizations of themselves do not necessarily lead souls to the truth, but they provide opportunities for Catholics to help more people see that the only path out of this crisis is to embrace the immutable Catholic Faith.
“And Peter going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus. But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out saying: Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretching forth His hand took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:29-31)
When Fr. Marie-Dominique Molinié, O.P. preached the 1953 retreat (to Dominican nuns) that forms the basis for his recently translated The Courage to Be Afraid, he did not know of the strong winds that would begin to rock the barque of Christ a decade later at Vatican II. It may seem odd, then, to present a short subchapter from that book as holding much of the explanation, and even more of the cure, for the great crisis in the Church today. But God does not change, so a profoundly insightful analysis of the ways in which He tries to bring us back to Him can be far more profitable than any novel ideas about how we should solve the present crisis (which has been caused precisely because the false shepherds have relied upon novel ideas).
As faithful Catholics around the world hope and pray that God will soon intervene to end the worsening crisis in the Church, it is worth reflecting on a meeting which took place in 1969, in Fribourg, Switzerland, with a group of seminarians, priests and laymen. Here is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s description of the key moment:
“They literally took me by the scruff of the neck and said: ‘Something must be done for these seminarians!’ It was useless my saying the I was sixty-five and retired, or that it was foolish to begin something that I could not continue if I should die within the next few years . . . They wouldn’t have it . . . ‘Okay,’ I said to them, ‘I’ll go and see Bishop Charrière. If he says yes, that will be a sign of Providence.’” (The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, p. 411)
For the sake of argument, think about how the Catholic world would react if we soon had a saintly pope who restored the Church’s liturgical practices to their pre-Vatican II state, solemnly denounced all of the heresies that have proliferated since Vatican II, excommunicated the various false shepherds, and embarked upon a holy path of promoting the rights of Christ the King. Almost certainly we would find that all of the nominal Catholics who hang on Bergoglio’s every word would no longer think much of the papacy. And all of us who feel varying degrees of persecution from Rome would be united in thanksgiving, rejoicing that God had answered our prayers.
According to a recent survey of “Catholic voter mood by RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with Catholic-themed television network EWTN,” Catholic voters in America are split over the midterm elections. The July 15, 2022 report from RealClear Opinion Research highlighted the following findings:
In his July 14, 2022 , Fr. John Zuhlsdorf requested urgent prayers to avert a “serious act of persecution.” The next day, Fr. Zuhlsdorf updated the post to confirm that the request related specifically to Cardinal Blase Cupich’s apparent plans to shut down the Institute of Christ the King’s Chicago apostolate at the end of July. Aside from the refreshing reminder that we should always pray and sacrifice to obtain God’s grace, the series of posts highlighted a striking feature of the current crisis: once we learned of the then unknown “act of persecution,” few of us would have been surprised if it had been tremendously worse than the grave injustice against the Institute of Christ the King.
As with all such incidents, the May 24, 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas reflects the tragic breakdown of morality throughout society. In an especially sickening way, though, the Uvalde shooting also highlights the grave failures of those in positions of responsibility to fight for those under their care. In releasing recently obtained footage of the law enforcement officers standing by idly during the shooting, The Austin American-Statesman provided the following details:
Like most of his writings, Bergoglio’s recent apostolic letter, Desiderio Desideravi, is so full of pseudo-Catholic gaslighting that it should be avoided by almost every Catholic wishing to preserve peace of soul. In it, he attempts to convince his “dearest sisters and brothers” that his great love for the Mass prompts him to call all souls to be spiritually nourished through its faithful celebration. One almost forgets that he is writing the letter to justify his vicious persecution of those who actually seek to make the Tridentine Mass the center of their lives.