Between my initial conversion as a teenager (1997) and about halfway through my nine-years of priesthood (2014) I would probably have been described as a small-fish but bold-agent in the “New Evangelization” of Pope John Paul II. I don’t regret those days. I came to know salvation-history through great lay leaders. I saw real miracles in the charismatic movement (as well as some evil things.) As a layman, I had many sins forgiven by priests who did not speak a word of Latin (and some invalid confessions via priests changing the words of absolution.) As much as this blog post might sound primed for a line like “But now I see so much better as a traditionalist!” there are even many things I gained in my eight pre-conversion years under the Jesuits (like a love of the poor.) Most fondly, I look back on my years as a neo-conservative, growing daily in personal conversion and my relationship with Jesus Christ. I truly loved my carefree international missions as a young priest, as well as and late-nights hearing confessions of University students on several campuses. I don’t regret those days of pre-tradition. They formed who I am today.
During that period (1997 to 2014) if someone had asked me why the Catholic Church had lost 50% of her adherents in the Western Hemisphere over the past 70 years, I would not have said “Vatican II.” I would have said, “The sexual revolution.” If someone had asked me why 80% of married Catholics in the West were using contraception, I would not have said “Vatican II.” I would have said “The sexual revolution.” I explained to many people that Catholics were using contraception because they had not heard Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. In fact, any co-habitating couple who approached me to get married in my early years of priesthood had to first listen to Naked Without Shame by Christopher West. I was truly a non-rad-trad neo-con at the beginning of my priesthood, yes, a big believer in the New Evangelization.
This week, the Vatican pushed the idea that the priest-child scandals were the fault of the “sexual revolution.” In fact, in that 6,000 word document, the word “revolution” (as in “sexual-revolution”) was found twice in the first 300 words. It holds that the sexual revolution was the genesis of same-sex attracted priests doing things to each other, as well as priests doing horrible things to children. Some people were shocked at this explanation. I was not shocked. We used this excuse to explain all the bad apples around us for years. We priests gained a lot of mileage for that “sexual revolution” thing because it allowed us to blame our internal issues on the world around us. Why don’t most Catholics believe in the True Presence of the Eucharist”? We even blamed that on the “sexual revolution.” Oh, and then we tacked on that tired explanation that the main problem in the flagging belief in the Eucharist among Catholics was that bishops “did not implement Vatican II as it was intended by the Council Fathers.” I actually believed these ideas because it was what I was taught by my priestly superiors as a layman and seminarian. I really admired these priests who taught me that. In some sense, I still do admire them.
But they are wrong to blame our current crisis of dogma and sexuality on the “sexual revolution” for three main reasons:
1) The Salt Parable. “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?.”—Lk 14:34. Salt was often used in ancient times as a preservative to keep meat from going rotten. Thus, the “salt” in the analogy is the Catholic Church and the “meat” is the rotten world around it. Christ’s point is very clear in this parable: Meat can not make the salt rotten! If the salt is salty, both the salt and the meat stay preserved. If the salt goes flat, both the meat and the salt go rotten. Thus, to blame priests raping children on the world around us is a total deflection and cop out. And, it goes directly against Christ’s parable that clearly asserts that if the salt stays fresh, both the salt and the meat stay preserved.
2) The History of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church grew at a rate of 40% a decade during the years of persecution in the Roman Empire of the first three hundred years of Catholicism. It’s not healthy to repeat oneself in a blog post, but here it is: The Christians peppered through the Roman empire grew at a rate of 40% every decade under persecution of a fleshy paganism that was replete with sexual aberrations, paganism and even infanticide. This means that Catholicism actually does well when it is surrounded by sex-obsessed pagans, as long as Catholicism keeps itself from being infiltrated. Christ, because He is God, had the power to program the Catholic Church via His Divine Preview of all future storms to have the power of His own Spirit given to His Bride, the Church, to withstand any persecution by several things that he gave us: The power of His Holy Cross, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the sacraments, the Deposit of the Faith, the Papacy and the intercession of the angels and saints, most especially His Blessed Mother. As long as these did not change from within, the Catholic Church would actually grow big when surrounded by dying pagan empires.
In the 16th century, when 10 million Catholics left the Catholic faith in Europe for Protestantism, something remarkable happened in the Americas: Tens of thousands of Franciscans and Jesuits (from Europe) went to make new disciples in the Americas in the 1500s. Faced with limited success, Our Lady of Guadeloupe appeared not far from the center of the bloody Aztec empire, and by the end of the 16th century, she had converted nearly 10 million Mexicans (creating that very race and term by the mix of Spanish men and Indian women that had united peacefully under her mantle of stars) to be led to baptism by the Spanish missionaries. The point is that even when there is a crisis within the Church (not just without her like the Roman Empire, but within her like the Church in Europe in the 16th century), the faith and dogma remained unchanged, at least enough for the 10 million heretics to be replaced by 10 million baptized Indians. This was the supernatural faith and unchanged liturgy that charged the Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries to make millions of converts in the Americas to the One Holy Catholic Faith, despite the untold dangers they faced on the sea and on land, all for the love of Christ crucified.
The logic that “the sexual revolution has led priests to rape children” should also be offensive to secular readers because they read in this excuse: “Sorry, but you can’t expect our poor priests to can’t keep their pants on if you throw them in that fleshy secular environment you created!” An additional reason that this explanation does not gel with the traditional spiritual and ascetical theology of the Catholic Church is because the Church teaches that at baptism, the soul is infused with the theological virtues of faith and hope and charity. Because those three theological gifts proceed from the very merits of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, then they make us well-neigh invincible against temptations to sin. The only way to crack those theological virtues would be to change one of those three: faith, hope or charity.
And that is exactly what happened: The Faith changed in the past 70 years. There is an old sardonic phrase about Church history: If there’s a Church crisis, then you can be sure it’s an inside job. But that phrase is perhaps not so sardonic. This old parable is actually quite hope-filled and beautiful because it shows that Christ has not only programmed His Church to withstand every storm via the power of his own charity in the crucifixion transferred to His Bride at Pentecost, but that the Church would grow more when the world is against it! The only way that Satan could stop the growth of the Catholic Church would not be a sexual revolution in the world, but changing the Faith within the Catholic Church via an Infiltration.
In those pre-traditional years of my Catholic life, from 1997 to 2014 (the majority of my life of having a relationship with Christ and His Church!) I believed that the Third Secret of Fatima was Pope John Paul II being shot and yet still living. How could one deny the fact that he was shot on her feast day and then miraculously lived? I still do believe this was a miracle given to the Pope from Our Lady, but I no longer believe this was the Third Secret of Fatima. The Third Secret of Fatima, I am fully convinced, was Our Lady’s warning that there would be a general apostasy from the top-down in the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the 20th century. If you want the full evidence for this, please watch “The Secret Still Silenced” below:
The title of this blog post is “Did Christ Program the Church to Withstand Every Storm?” The reason I can still say “Yes” to that after all the corruption I have seen in the Catholic Church is because of that above video, “The Secret Still Silenced.” Yes, I know this is Christ’s promise in Scripture, but this video enlightens the Deposit of the Faith for me, namely, that God-Himself did not program a changed Faith or changed Liturgy in the past 70 years that tanked the numbers of the Catholic Church in the Western Hemisphere and nearly destroyed all missionary congregations in the Eastern Hemisphere. This leaves only one option, which is ironically quite hope-filled: We have endured an infiltration into the hierarchy who changed the faith. This is hopeful precisely because nobody can say that heaven did not warn us. After watching the above video, you will agree that nobody can say that the Blessed Trinity failed to send Our Lady to tell us to watch out for an apostasy that would lead to globally reduced numbers of priests and baptisms, disrespect for the Eucharist and even priests who are perverted.
No, this perversion was not because of celibacy (like the media says) or the “sexual revolution” (like the Vatican said this week) but because priests lost faith, hope and charity, beginning with a changed faith the past 70 years. I believe that when we repent for our inside job of changing the priesthood and every other sacrament, then we can stop pointing fingers at the secular world for our perverted actions. But if the hierarchy is still unable to repent for a changed Dogma and Liturgy over the past 70 years, then don’t be surprised if the only option for us flavorless salt grains is to bemoan our own stinkiness by pointing the finger at the rotten meat around us. What a cop-out, especially when Christ has programmed the Church perfectly without needing any “updating for modern man.”
If you subscribe to what Our Lady most-likely revealed to the children, namely, that there would be a general apostasy from the top down of the hierarchy, then we can believe that Christ did indeed program the Catholic Church to withstand the sexual-revolution, and that we would have had the power to produce mostly holy priests if we had our dogma without a Protestantization of it. Had we kept the faith without giving into that masonic inside job, then the 1960s would have simply been another storm Christ would have seen come-and-go when He looked through time and into Peters eyes that day years ago in Caesarae Phillipi when He said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”—Mt 16:18. Christ also knew at that triumphant and sad moment of seeing all the scandals through history that the hierarchy would always bounce back, but that the hardest would be that one time in history (now) when the very Faith and Liturgy itself would be mongrelized by an inside job.
I love the Catholic Church because when we win a culture through holy saints, we win converts! When we lose a battle on earth via martyrs, we win double the converts!! Satan knew this. Satan himself knew that Christ programmed the Church to withstand every outside storm. Satan knew well the old sardonic phrase: “If there’s a crisis in the Church, you can be sure it’s an inside job.”
If you subscribe to what Our Lady most-likely revealed to the children, namely, that there would be a general apostasy from the top down of the hierarchy, then you can’t blame God for the priests who never had the faith, who were admitted to seminary by modernist bishops, and later who molested children. You can’t blame God. You must blame those who infiltrated the Catholic Church. Perhaps even more, we need to blame those good men who let effeminate masons infiltrate. They changed her priesthood, her dogma and her liturgy. You must blame this crisis not on God Himself who gave us countless holy priests in World War II (many of whom were killed.) God gave that generation and the next the grace to resist a coming storm that would be worse than World War II (and I don’t mean the “sexual revolution”) but rather: a betrayal from within. We straight priests could have handled that perverted world around us like the early priests handled the Roman Empire. What we can’t handle is betrayal from within the Priesthood.
Thus, the only solution left is the one thing that none of the last five Popes have tried: A full return to the one traditional Catholic Faith, Dogma and Liturgy lived by the children of Fatima and encouraged by Our Lady, not a reform of the reform of the reform of the reform. We may not see that full restoration in the next five years, but I believe that total restoration is coming, probably in the lifetime of most people reading this blog post. The Immaculate Virgin Mary obtained for those children (from Her Son) the grace to endure all the mockery and persecution that would come to them for adhering to the Truth. And she will for you, too.