Last Things: ‘Church’s Ultimate Trial’

News: Commentary
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  April 13, 2022   

Antichrist's 'mystical body'

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Prelates, official Catholic catechisms and the Bible all say mass apostasy is a hallmark of the end times.

Cdl. Willem Eijk

Under the heading of "The Church's Ultimate Trial," the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 675, speaks of a widespread loss of faith amongst Catholics: "Before Christ's second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers."

The catechism also warns of a "persecution" accompanying "a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth." This sounds eerily like the "Great Reset."

Cardinal Willem Eijk focused on the catechism's paragraph 675 in a letter he penned in 2018 while archbishop of Utrecht (a city in the Netherlands).

The catechism also warns of a 'persecution.'

The cardinal was lamenting Pope Francis' failure to forbid German bishops from distributing Holy Communion to Protestants, as well as cardinals "who publicly propose to bless homosexual relationships."

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Eijk revealed the widespread attacks on the "Deposit of Faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture" moved him to believe the Church is nearing Her "ultimate trial."

Venerable Abp. Fulton Sheen already spoke in 1946 of a looming apocalyptic crisis of faith. Sheen predicted the Devil would even attempt to counterfeit the Church:

He will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counter church which will be the ape of the Church because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will be the mystical body of the Antichrist that will, in all externals, resemble the Church as the mystical body of Christ.

The 16th-century Catechism of the Council of Trent (also called the "Roman Catechism") accords with the modern catechism on the matter. The Tridentine catechism explains, "The Sacred Scriptures inform us that the general judgment will be preceded by these three principal signs: the preaching of the gospel throughout the world, a falling away from the Faith and the coming of Antichrist."

Such "Sacred Scriptures" include St. Paul's 2 Thessalonians 2:2–5, wherein he reminds his flock that Christ's second coming will not occur "unless there come a revolt first, and the Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition."

To learn more about the Catholic faith, check out Church Militant's Catholicism series.

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