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Woe to those who put their hope in the world; woe to them that cling to those things which they brought forth through hope in this world. What then should the Christian do? He should use, not serve, the world. (St. Augustine, Exposition on the Book of Psalms, Psalm 96, §14)
The anti-Christ totalitarian dictators in China are moving expeditiously to purge crosses and other visible signs of Christian worship from the Chinese landscape. They have issued diktats forbidding Catholic parents from bringing their children to Mass. Thus, they mean to prevent habitual remembrance of Christ's saving sacrifice from being seeded into in the minds and hearts of oncoming generations of Chinese Catholics.
Such persecution is to be expected from God-denying ideologues. Their anti-spiritual, power and self-worshipping religion masquerades as scientific ideology. But in the end, it is just another violent ploy, aimed at reasserting the age-old paradigm of elitist oppression.
Such anti-Christ actions have been the stock-in-trade of all socialist regimes determined, by any means necessary, to impose and maintain totalitarian communism. Thanks to Pope Francis' deal with Xi Jinping, however, those conducting the extirpation of Catholicism in China can taunt the targets of their purge with the fact that they act with the Vatican's blessing.
This sharpens the edge of the assault against the spirit of China's Catholics. The confusion it engenders may make some susceptible to the taunt that their faith in Christ will prove as false as the authority of Christ's vicar, who has surrendered it to the enemies of God and His Son.
Tragically, Chinese Catholics are not the only ones thus opened to spiritual assault. In profoundly significant areas of Church practice and doctrine, Pope Francis and his chosen associates have reached conclusions and taken actions that smack of surrender to the priorities of the anti-Christ world. Nowhere is this more painfully evident than in their willingness to promote and join in chorus with clerics, like Fr. James Martin, who insist that the Church must abandon its truthful adherence to God's will for human procreation and the family. They pretend that this will allow the body of Christ to welcome and celebrate specious, self-willed "gender identities."
But when did the living body of Christ ever welcome and celebrate that which God condemns, Christ contradicted and all the Apostles and teachers of the Church uniformly condemn? Except we deny the very seed and root of God's authority over all things, we cannot pretend that human nature is simply an artifact. Man is made by man, but by the Son as well.
God's being is the mind, will and substance of creation, not human being. God is thus the reason (logos) for our existence. We speak for ourselves, except in the context of the whole God constitutes, previsions and arranges beforehand.
Christ reminded us of this truth when He points out the illogic of self-justification:
But I say to you: Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; or by the earth, for it is His footstool, or by Jerusalem for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head for you cannot make one hair white or black. (Matthew 5:34–36)
It is, therefore, God-denying self-idolatry to assert that individual human will can repeal the Word by which God "created man in his own image, in the image of God he Created him; male and female he created them. And … blessed them, and … said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it."
Pretending to admit such idolatry into the place of worship wherein the living body of Christ remembers His holy and perfect sacrifice (that body including all whose mind is the mind of Christ, informed by the heart of Christ indwelling within them) — is an irrational abomination.
"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). Purporting to go along with such idolaters as they continue to walk in the way of their own re-creation is no act of love, leading souls through Christ's salvation.
Those clerics who pretend that welcoming such fleshly self-idolatry well-becomes the living body of Christ are like the harlot in Proverbs (5:5): "Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol."
The proverb says of the harlot that "her ways wander, and she does not know it." But this cannot be an excuse for clerics and prelates in the Catholic Church today. They do, or lure and abet others in doing abominations — fully knowing the spiritually deadly consequences. They have no excuse for being ignorant of the fact that their false instruction betrays souls into Hell. For Christ, and those His Spirit gathered to be His living body on Earth, preached and observed the saving truth of it for 2,000 years.
Now, those who are supposed to be the servant of Christ's servants, preparing and recalling them to the true way He represents, have instead become servants of the world that rejects Him, inclined to favor multifarious ways contrived by human ambition and willfulness. They have themselves become disciples of those God-denying ways.
So it is not surprising that these clerics and prelates neither see nor make manifest any difference between themselves and such bishops as the openly anti-Christ Chinese Communists are liable to appoint. For isn't this what they themselves have secretly become?
Pray God that those who have eyes to see them for what they are will see and act with sacrificial courage. Pray God they will trust in His counsel, grace and power and have the faith to persevere, pursuing every opportunity to save from unending loss those in generations living and yet to come, who have the goodwill to see and hear the Word of God-in-Christ and keep it.