The Counter-Revolution (TCR) is a form of Resistance
Movement born of grassroots efforts by young faithful Catholics.
Movement born of grassroots efforts by young faithful Catholics.
In the face of so much negative news about the Catholic Church, it's easy to get discouraged. However, there's something I want to point out here, and it's a good thing. What the Catholic Church is going through right now is a purging. Yes, it's a trial. Yes, it's a tribulation. Yes, it's a passion of sorts. Yes, it's a good thing.
I think I am pointing out the obvious when I say the Catholic Church is corrupt. Now I don't mean that it's corrupt by nature. Heavens no! What I mean by that is that over the last 50 years or so, a corruption has crept into the hierarchy of the Church. It's obvious and cannot be denied by any reasonable or sane person. One only need look at the clerical sexual-abuse scandal as the worst example of it. But what if I told you that's just the proverbial tip of the iceberg? What if I told you that the corruption is much deeper than that, and manifests itself in the form of rampant homosexuality throughout the hierarchy. This leads to other forms of corruption, ranging from financial to doctrinal. For when your conscience has been burned by such a grave sin of homosexuality, a sin that the Bible and Catechism tell us is one that cries out to heaven (Genesis 18:20-21, Genesis 19:1-29, Catechism 1867, Catechism 2357), it's easy to justify all sorts of other (seemingly lesser) forms of perversion and corruption. What's a little money laundering when you're trying to cover up the sin of sodomy? What's a little failure to report sexual abuse of another when you're trying to cover up your own sin of sodomy? What's a little doctrinal twisting when you're trying to justify the sin of sodomy? It's all closely connected in ways that we're only just barely starting to learn now. I suspect an avalanche of new revelations is just around the corner. Over the last 50 years or so the Catholic hierarchy was overrun by homosexuals, and in a Church where homosexuality is considered a great sin, it should be no surprise that a mountain of sins might follow in an attempt to hide or justify it.
Of course, we all know what the liberal modernist solution to all of this is. They say, "Just make homosexuality acceptable! Then all these other problems will go away." So let me get this straight (no pun intended), the liberal modernists both inside and outside the Church, would have us believe that in order to stop these other sins, we need to change Church teaching to sanction (even bless) something that God has called intrinsically evil? They would have us believe that if we did that, all these other problems would just "go away?" Well, that may sound attractive to the morally weak, but let's take a closer look at churches that have sanctioned homosexuality. The Protestant Church of England, for example, no longer opposes "civil partnerships" for homosexual couples, provided they are (ahem) celibate. Of course, if they're not celibate, who's going to know? All they would need to do is make sure they don't kiss on the street corners and keep the curtains closed to their apartment windows, and nobody would be the wiser. If anyone asks, the response could simply be "that's a terribly personal question" and leave it at that. Nobody would be able to say anything, one way or another, so long as the sin is kept private. Even then, the Protestant Church of England is currently in a serious debate about blessing same-sex "marriages" which by nature adds a public element to the sin of sodomy. That all sounds very "progressive" don't you think? Any liberal modernist would be proud and should admit that things are going in the "right" direction in the Protestant Church of England. And yet, the Protestant Church of England is now being forced to pay out millions of pounds in a child sex-abuse cover-up scandal (read more here). Meanwhile, this website chronicles a lengthy history of sexual abuse in The Protestant Episcopal Church USA, which has some of the most liberal policies toward homosexuality among all churches in North America. The purpose of my pointing these things out is not to indict these Protestant churches. I don't think they're any worse, or any better, than the Catholic Church on this. Rather, the purpose of my pointing this out is to demonstrate that liberalising Church teaching on homosexuality does not stop these other problems, nor does it reduce them. The problems still exist, and are significant, regardless of liberalising church attitudes toward homosexuality.
I do think, however, that the Catholic teaching against homosexual sex has a cauterising effect on the consciences of those people who refuse to repent of the sin, and in some cases (notice I said "some"), I think that cauterised conscience becomes dull and able to justify things that might not ordinarily have been justifiable. I think it's worse than that actually. I think that when homosexual clergy refuse to repent of the sin of homosexual sex, they demonstrate that they really don't believe what the Church teaches about homosexuality. And once you dismiss one essential moral teaching of the Church, it's easy to dismiss another, and another, and another, and so on, until maybe you start to dismiss key elements of the Catholic faith altogether. Yes, I'm making a radical statement here. I'm asserting that some (notice I said "some" again) of our Catholic hierarchy no longer believe the Catholic faith. They are walking contradictions, who represent a certain belief system in their job and appearance, but no longer believe it themselves.
Now I would not dare to presume I know who some of these people are. I have my suspicions, but I'll never publicly name them because it's not my place to do so, and that's something God needs to sort out in the end. My purpose in all this is to diagnose the problem, not point fingers at men. The problem is a lack of faith in the Church, reaching all the way up the hierarchy, even to the Vatican itself! Once we understand that problem, it now becomes easier to understand what is happening in the Church.
I believe God has had enough. I think the wind has shifted. This might very well be the beginning of the end for the faithless hierarchy and the dawn of the information age is the reason why.
Back in 1960 through 2000, the Church hierarchy could rely on the traditional means of disseminating information. The mainstream media was an outside force that occasionally caused some problems, but for the most part, faithless hierarchy could use them as instruments of propaganda to drive their narrative and revolution for "change." This was clearly seen in the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council, in what Pope Benedict XVI referred to as the "Council of the Media." You can listen to the previous pope's full explanation. Turn on the closed caption to see the translation...
Turn on closed captions to see the translation.
While the media was certainly the propagators of this false narrative that Pope Benedict spoke of, make no mistake about it, faithless churchmen were working behind the scenes feeding the media this false narrative, and it went on for decades!
That all started to backfire in 2003 in North America when the mainstream media began turning on the hierarchy over clerical sexual abuse and cover-up. Initially, the media was happy to pounce on Cardinal Bernard Law of the Archdiocese of Boston. Law was seen as a relatively "conservative" clergyman in a very liberal archdiocese. The opportunity to get rid of him through public scandal was too tempting to ignore. However, as the truth started to come out in Boston, the whole scandal turned out to be much bigger than anyone expected. Not just limited to Boston, the scandal spanned the entire North American continent, and this was a story much too big for the media to pass up. No longer would they give their typical liberal darlings in the hierarchy a pass. Instead, they took them down, indiscriminately, liberal and "conservative" alike. In the end, however, more liberal bishops fell than "conservative." (I write "conservative" in quotation marks because in some cases, these bishops weren't really that traditionally conservative at all. The press just labelled them so.) This was just the beginning. Once North America was rocked, the press fanned out into the world, uncovering more cases of clerical sexual abuse on other continents. To be fair, not all of these fallen bishops were complicit in the cover-up. Some were just incompetent.
In around the year 2010 we started to see the alternative Internet media rise to power. It had been around for a long time before, but it was around 2010 that this product of the information age finally came into its own. The Internet allowed multiple independent media news sources to have a much larger voice than they normally would have in traditional media. Within a decade, small and independent news outfits, in obscure parts of the country, could potentially reach an audience as large as syndicated traditional news outlets. That was the beginning of the end for the faithless hierarchy. Between that, and the mainstream press ready to turn against them on serious matters, the faithless hierarchy could no longer control the narrative. The incident that marked the wind-change came in 2014 during a press conference for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, wherein a panel of the Vatican clergy attempted to control the media narrative by proposing that the synod was contemplating the acceptance of homosexuality. While most traditional media outlets quietly sat taking notes, one independent Internet Catholic outlet chimed in with an unscripted, and certainly unappreciated, question. That news outlet was ChurchMilitant.Com, and the journalist was Michael Voris...
That was it! That was when the flags swung and began blowing in a different direction. The wind had changed. A small, independent, Internet, Catholic news outlet came out of seemingly nowhere and dared to question the legitimacy of the doctrinal narrative the Vatican press office was pushing. What made this event unique? It wasn't just a single journalist from a larger Catholic news source, under the pastoral guidance of a bishop, who could potentially be silenced by that bishop if needed. It wasn't a single journalist from an Italian tabloid who nobody takes seriously. It wasn't even a regular journalist from a mainstream, secular news outlet who's editor could censor the question later. No. This was the head journalist of a small, Internet, Catholic media outlet that is totally independent of any diocese or jurisdiction, is faithful to the historic teachings of the Church, and spends a good deal of its resources educating people about those historic teachings of the Church. This was the introduction heard around the world...
Church Militant, meet the Vatican...
Vatican, meet Church Militant.
I guarantee you, there are a few key figures at the Vatican who remember that day, and they rue it. Suddenly, Church Militant, this tiny, independent, Internet, news outlet, from a suburb of Detroit, was elevated to the same level as CNN and the BBC in the Vatican press room, and it was Church Militant that asked the most provocative question of the day -- the question that mattered the most -- and the Vatican did not answer it. That question, and non-given answer, along with the material that prompted it, has been quietly swept under the rug at the Vatican (for now). But the cat is out of the bag in the Catholic news media. Everyone knows about it, and everyone is still talking about it. Church Militant got the proverbial ball rolling, and now it's being discussed on EWTN and Catholic news outlets all over the world.
What is it that's being discussed? There is a homosexual lobby of faithless clerics scattered in rectories and chanceries throughout the worldwide Catholic Church, there is a concentration of them in Rome, and some are even high-ranking figures in the Vatican itself. What nobody would have imagined 20 years ago, and merely suspected 10 years ago, is now common knowledge today, and it's because of an independent, Internet, Catholic, news outlets like Church Militant.
So now enters the good news and something to look forward to. I don't care what you think about Church Militant or Michael Voris. You can love them, or you can hate them. It doesn't matter. What matters is they exist, and they're doing a job that few others are willing to do. What also matters is that they can't be stopped. This is not only because they're independent, but also because they're a professional news outlet and know how to do things legally. So they're protected under American law, regarding freedom of the press, and they don't have to submit to the sanitised narrative of some chancery press office. The faithless hierarchy is aware of this, which is why I suspect that some of them (notice I said "some" again) are probably behind the mainstream media's hatchet job done on them last year. Yet, even that failed, as Church Militant has seen a record uptick in subscriptions and donations since then, causing them to increase their operating budget, buy new equipment and hire new staff. So it seems that everything the faithless hierarchy does to try to stop Church Militant, the more Church Militant succeeds and prospers. Why it's almost like God is on their side -- or something.
That's why I say it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of Church Militant because they're here to stay and they're doing a job, but more than that, they're inspiring more people to imitate them. Church Militant does this directly by preaching about the importance of independent Catholic media around the world, and indirectly by inspiring the rise of more professional Catholic blogs with multiple contributors, some of which are professional journalists. The world of Catholic news is rapidly changing and the Catholic faithful (both clergy and laity) are finally getting a voice. Whether you love Church Militant or hate them, they are serving an important purpose, and it's giving hope for the return of orthodoxy in the Church.
Church Militant has started a "Resistance" program (learn more here) to keep local members in various dioceses informed about news and events happening in their area. This allows those members to take action by "resisting" those things that oppose orthodoxy and/or decency. They do this through civil ways, such as writing letters to the local chancery, calling the chancery, and in the most extreme cases, even protesting the chancery. But this "Resistance" movement is really nothing but a formalisation of something that's been going on informally in the Catholic blogosphere for at least a decade now. "Resistance" is accompanied by the rise of other formalised movements of Catholic orthodoxy as well. "The Counter-Revolution" (TCR) is one example. "Tradition, Family and Property" (TFP) is another. All of this, together, is creating a snowball effect, wherein we're beginning to see some chanceries back down from liberal modernist agendas because of pressure.
Then there is something else, something beyond anyone's control, and by that, I mean the Francis pontificate. Pope Francis has done a lot of good things, but he's also done a few not-so-good things, and some of them are coming back to bite him in a negative way. The most recent example of this deals with a scandal of sexual abuse and cover-up that he has unfortunately been embroiled in himself. The matter concerns his own denial of evidence concerning sexual abuse by a bishop in Chile that he was personally handed by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the new Archbishop of Boston who replaced Cardinal Law. Not only did the pope deny receiving such evidence, but he even attacked the abuse victims for calumny. The mainstream secular press has been merciless to Pope Francis over this. It should be noted that while Catholic media, including Church Militant, is willing to give the pope the benefit of the doubt on this issue (as in "maybe he forgot"), the secular media is not. The secular media always assumes the worst in people, and rarely ever gives the benefit of the doubt to religious figures -- even those they like.
So at the same time, independent Catholic media is rising to power, and both formal and informal "resistance" movements are rising to the occasion, so also even the mainstream media is beginning to report many of the abuses in the Church that are the result of faithless clergy. If they're willing to even go after the Pope, whom they love, then we can be sure that no bishop is safe anymore. The mainstream media's claws are out and they're ready to pounce. If they smell a story, they're going to report it now, and it doesn't matter who you are, how liberal you are, or how much they previously liked you.
Now is the time of trial for faithful and orthodox Catholics, but at the same time, now is our time to shine. The good news is, though it may not seem like it right now, we're going to win.
You see, in 1999, I was an Episcopalian. I was part of various groups trying to bring reform to The Episcopal Church. By that, I mean groups attempting to restore orthodox teaching on sexuality and holy orders. It didn't take long for me to realise that reform of The Protestant Episcopal Church USA was impossible. It was too far gone. Too many modernists had taken over the institution, and one of them was frank enough to inform me that it's a war of attrition. It's only a matter of time before enough conservative holdouts either leave The Episcopal Church or die off. He was right. Their day of victory came in 2003 when Canon Gene Robinson was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. (Thankfully, I had left The Episcopal Church by then.) Robinson was a married Episcopal priest who abandoned his wife and children to live with his homosexual lover. Rather than discipline Robinson for his adultery, abandonment, and public sodomy, he was instead rewarded with an episcopal consecration. They made him a bishop! That's how far The Episcopal Church had fallen.
By the year 2000, I had come to understand that there was no way to reform a church without some kind of authority structure that had divine assistance. So my wife and I joined the Catholic Church. What's the difference? Well, in The Episcopal Church the war of attrition favoured the liberal modernists. But in the Catholic Church, there is another war of attrition, and this one favours the orthodox conservatives. In addition, the Catholic Church has something The Protestant Episcopal Church does not. It has God in its corner.
You see, the Catholic Church is the Church established by King Jesus Christ. It is the fulfilment of the Kingdom of Israel on earth, and that means not only will he help the Catholic Church come into all truth, but when it's leaders go astray, he will correct them much in the same way he corrected the leaders of ancient Israel back in the Old Testament. This should send terror into the hearts of those leaders of Israel (the Catholic Church) who lead her people astray, that is if those leaders believe in anything at all. If not, they'll find out the hard way. The King will not let his Kingdom be ruled by wicked servants for too long.
Right now we are living in a period of warning, which has come upon the leaders of the Catholic Church in the form of independent Catholic media and resistance movements. It's much like how Jeremiah warned the leaders of Israel in the days leading up to the Babylonian siege and exile. I'm not attributing mystical or prophetic qualities to independent Catholic media and various resistance movements. (So don't say that I did.) Rather, I'm just saying they're reporting the news that others won't, and acting upon it. This is having an effect that is similar to the ministry of Jeremiah in ancient Israel. A chastisement is coming, and some would say its already here. The voices of independent Catholic media and resistance movements aren't what the faithless hierarchy should be worried about. They should really be worried about the chastisement that is coming upon them from above. Independent Catholic media and resistance movements are just an advance warning, giving them time to repent and change course before its too late. Some may perceive that warning and heed it, but I suspect many will not.
One way or another, Jesus Christ is going to restore his Catholic Church. Granted, it will never be perfect on this side of eternity, but he's going to restore it to something much better than it is now. In the meantime, all we need to do is purify our own lives and wait. This is done through prayer and repentance of personal sin. Beyond that, it may be advisable to get involved in a traditionally orthodox and conservative parish that is licit under Church law. This is for the sake of helping you and your family maintain focus on what we are all looking forward to, as well as supporting that vision of the Church's future. Regardless if you can do that or not, getting plugged in with a resistance movement of some kind (Church Militant's "Resistance" or TCR or TFP) may also be advisable in some places, not only to connect with like-minded Catholics, but also to stay informed and aware of what's going on.
As I said, it's a war of attrition, and the odds are in our favour. The younger clergy and new seminarians are far more traditional and orthodox than the older generation. The only young lay people who are remaining in the Church are the more orthodox and traditional type. The rest are moving on. Young, liberal Catholics don't stay Catholic for long. Some are going over to Protestantism, and others are going on to nothing -- deism, humanism, agnosticism, etc. The future of the Catholic Church is traditional. There is no denying that. But don't expect the faithless hierarchy to go out without a fight. Some of them (notice I said "some" again) are now trying to solidify their homosexual Modernist revolution before they're gone. This is where we are now. This is the time we're living through. It is temporary, but it must play out. The future is secure, and the Catholic Church will be restored because Jesus Christ the King is in charge. It's just a matter of time now. Be faithful. Pray. Connect. Resist. Wait.
Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and a columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com.' Your support is what makes essays like this possible. This essay and all of Shane's Internet resources come to you (ad-free) thanks to the generosity of benefactors. Please consider becoming a benefactor.
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