The latest post on Rorate Caeli is the translation of an article written by historian Roberto de Mattei. The piece is quite sobering and it certainly will not resonate well with those of “pseudo-mystical optimism”. (I will refrain from giving examples of those who, I believe, fall into this category.)
What I want to do here, is show that what de Mattei is saying is nothing new. The issues he brings up had already been addressed – with solutions even proposed – by the late theologian Abbé de Nantes.
Professor de Mattei: In reality, that which is in crisis is not the “monocratic” government, which conforms to the Tradition of the Church, but the system of government born of the post-conciliar reforms, which in the last fifty years have expropriated the Papacy of its sovereign authority, redistributing the power among the Episcopal Conferences and an omnipotent Secretariat of State.
Abbé de Nantes wrote the following in 1970: [God] entrusted his Pastors with the duty of maintaining an exact knowledge of his Revelation, through defining the truth and condemning falsehood throughout the ages. However, since the “pastoral” Council Vatican II and the encyclical of “dialogue” Ecclesiam suam, the Pope and bishops have, on various false pretexts, definitively abandoned the exercise of this supreme function of their Magisterium.
de Mattei: But, most of all, Benedict XVI and his predecessor, even if very different in temperament, were victims of the myth of the collegiality of government which they both sincerely believed in, and so renounced taking on many responsibilities which could have resolved the problem of the apparent ungovernability of the Church.
The Abbé: If it is not Paul VI [The Abbé was writing in the’ 70’s] who is governing the Church, it is not Jesus Christ who is governing it invisibly, for He would not wish to substitute for his failing Vicar. However, it is Satan who takes advantage of this resignation to lead the dance, to the despair of the good faithful and the triumphant joy of the wicked.
Then the Abbé continued to delineate the consequences of the abdication of authority which he called “criminal indifference”:
1. The appearance and spread within the Church of heresy in every shape and form
2. The consequent downgrading of the true faith to the level of a personal opinion, moreover one which is held only by a wretched small minority
3. The defacto disqualification of the present Magisterium of the Church, as such blindness and error are in contradiction with her very nature.
de Mattei: We need to pray and act, each one according to their possibilities, so that this crisis is brought to an end and the Church may show visibly that holiness and beauty which She has never lost, and will never lose until the end of time.
The Abbé: In virtue of the pledge given to His Church, it is clear that somehow [chastisements*] God will act so as to bring about that:
1.) every heresy shall be explicitly and effectively banned from His Holy Church
2.) that the true faith shall be solemnly proclaimed, with the rehabilitation of those who defended it and their recognition as the “faithful remnant”
3.) that the continuity of the infallible teaching authority of the Magisterium shall be demonstrated by the formal condemnation of those who ruled over the Church during the time of error. [If so, the post-conciliar popes will certainly not be formally canonized, will they?]
“There are two, possibly three, reasons why I am speaking to you in such grave terms today. The first is in order that the punishment which, possibly, is close at hand, should not appear to you to be the result purely of chance or even merely the direct consequence of human wickedness. The second is that each of you should make such use of these tribulations as their Author intended – that is, for the restoration of faith in those who exercise the Catholic Magisterium and through them in the rest of the Church – each making honourable amendment for their individual crimes. For the punishment will not abate until they have admitted and recanted each one, down to the last. And my third, desperate, reason is to try and shake the conscience of Pope Montini and the Bishops, as did Jonas….
* “But now that they have all entrenched themselves in the disorder of their thinking and of their error, the Church can only be snatched from the power of Satan by direct divine intervention, that is, through a chastisement. This is not so much a prophecy as a prediction based on intellectual assessment, enlightened by faith.”