As a lawyer and former law professor, I often work with hypotheticals, which can be very helpful for clarifying, teaching, or having conversations about subjects that folks may not otherwise be comfortable discussing directly. With increasing numbers of people wondering what exactly is going on in the Church, and with many afraid to voice their concerns and fears because of potential repercussions, it strikes me that this might be a good moment for a hypothetical. So here goes.
Imagine you are a faithful student of Fatima. You know that Our Lady gave the shepherd children a vision of Hell — a real place where poor sinners go. Over time, as you witness events unfolding in the Church and in the world, you begin to realize that She did this not just because people would come to doubt the existence of Hell or the fact that people go there, but because Satan is actively trying to send as many souls there as possible.
Now, it's important for our hypothetical that we recall why people go to Hell and what keeps them out of it. Apart from the Blessed Virgin Mary, immaculately conceived, we are all sinners. Unless our sins are forgiven, we will go body and soul for all eternity to Hell. This forgiveness has been purchased for us by the Calvary Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, who died and rose bodily. But we must ask for it!
We must recognize that we are sinners in need of being saved and ask for forgiveness from the Savior. Moreover, this forgiveness comes to us through the Church — One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, under Peter the Roman Pontiff — especially via the sacraments of baptism, penance and Holy Communion (the ordinary means of salvation). Our Lord is truly present — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood worthily, we will not have eternal life.
So if you're Satan, or a modernist, what are you going to do? You are going to launch a full-out assault on the Incarnation. The attacks on the priesthood and consecrated religious, on the liturgy and the sacraments, on the Blessed Mother and Her Most Holy Rosary, on Tradition and Holy Scripture, on marriage, the family and the innocence of children, on human life and the moral law — suddenly it all makes sense to you.
You remember that Lucifer fell because he was given a vision of the Incarnation and rejected it, and now he wants you to make the same choice he did, with the same consequence. He wants to remove (or at least pervert) everything that will remind you of who you are and who Jesus is, as well as everything that will lead you to Him.
Enter FrancisChurch, the apotheosis of this diabolical disorientation. You know the true Church will follow her bridegroom and experience a final Passover. But having read the gospels, and being a very good student, you also know that Peter and Judas were two different people. Saint Peter denied knowledge of Christ out of fear and then repented; Judas sold Our Lord after being possessed by Satan. Peter is not Judas; Judas is not Peter. Then who or what is the priest formerly known as Cdl. Bergoglio?
He and the people with whom he surrounds himself are dangerous to the eternal salvation of souls. They deceive the faithful about the immutable truths of the Catholic faith, and they deceive those outside of the Church about the nature of sin, the need for salvation and the uniqueness of the One True Faith to mediate it. The problem is, the person now branding faithful Catholics as "racists" and "Nazis" calls himself Peter, and his magisterium (he made up his own, which you didn't think was possible) seems really focused on leading souls to Hell.
Even though this is a hypothetical, you're starting to wonder whether you're losing your mind. Concerned for your well-being, I jump in with a couple of clarifications that will allow you to proceed with your analysis safely and sanely.
First, Catholics are not Calvinists: We don't hold to the pernicious understanding of predestination that says Our Lord wills (or could ever will) the eternal damnation of some souls just because He is God and can do whatever He wants, even if it violates Logos, goodness and charity. (This pathological voluntarism is also a feature of Islam, as Pope Benedict XVI rightly observed in his Regensburg Lecture.) Any creeping Jansenism can be straightened out with a little help from the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy devotions.
Second, ergo, it is impossible that Jesus Christ, Who desires the salvation of all men and has paid the ultimate price for it, would will — actively or permissively — that His true representative on earth deliberately lead souls away from Him and into Hell. Given that additional context, return to your hypothetical and work it through to answer the following two questions: 1) what comes next; and 2) what steps should you and others take.
"Finding Jesus in the Temple Part II" forthcoming.