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The following views of Antonio Socci don't necessarily reflect those of Church Militant, but are important, as they highlight the grave dangers and uncertainty facing the Church today.
Antonio Socci's latest book is entitled Il dio mercato, la Chiesa e l'Anticristo (The Market As God, the Church, and the Antichrist). It is a passionate and wide-ranging analysis of the present situation of the Church, a situation that is now beyond the limits of sustainability, given the Bergoglian direction and the side-by-side presence of two popes who, although showing each other ceremonial courtesy, say opposing things.
How should we understand what is happening? And what should we expect to happen next? We have spoken about all this with the author.
Antonio Socci, your new book opens with a quotation from Joseph Roth:
The Antichrist has come; clothed in such a way that we, who have become accustomed to waiting for him for years, do not recognize him. He already dwells in our midst, within ourselves. And the heavy burden of his ignoble wings weighs upon us. […] For a long time he has been spreading poison in the innocent souls of our children. But we do not notice!
After this, you propose a sentence from Noam Chomsky:
They believe themselves to be the masters of humanity, and unfortunately they are becoming them: the democratic political system has stopped resisting them, paving the way for the unconditional dictatorship of strong economic and financial powers, which now dictate the conditions of our public life.
So, is the Antichrist already here, and does he have the face of the notorious strong powers?
Joseph Roth wrote his novel The Antichrist in 1934, at the time of totalitarianism, and he speaks of the Antichrist as an icy poison that infects everyone, corrupting souls and even language itself, which has now lost contact with reality itself and confuses black and white, true and false. "The ideal subject of the totalitarian regime," wrote Hannah Arendt, "is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but the man for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists."
Today it seems that we find ourselves in just this situation. It was not by chance that Benedict XVI spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." In recent years this dictatorship has become more suffocating than ever. It seems that the light has been extinguished (above all the light of the Church), and it not only seems that the question of the Truth has been swept away (it is even considered inappropriate to recall that Truth exists and that good and evil and the order of creation exist), but it also seems that the evidence is no longer even recognized.
It seems we are witnessing the fulfillment of the "prophecy" of Chesterton, who foresaw a time in which it would be considered the end of the world just to affirm that two plus two makes four or that the leaves are green in summer. This ideological climate — in the world and in the Church — obviously has not been created by accident but because the economic, political, and media powers of this world have strongly pushed in this direction. These powers have further desired that the Church no longer speak of the "claim of truth" inherent in the Gospel, and at the same time they have imposed "one right way of thinking" that dogmatically dominates and does not admit any questions or critical discussion.
You know better than me that certain texts of Pope Francis seem like they were written by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Pontifical Academies now regularly invite speakers who are proponents of the New World Order. With this pontificate, the Catholic Church has embraced globalism, immigrationist ideology, political correctness, and the new dogmas imposed by the dictatorship of relativism. But why is this happening? In your opinion, what is in the mind and heart of the Pope and other Catholic proponents of these positions?
First of all, I would like to recall that in May 2013 at the Lateran, Benedict XVI explained that a Pope cannot and must not use the Chair of Peter to affirm his personal ideas and opinions, but only and always the teaching of the Church, because the Pope is not superior to the Word of God but rather its servant. There should be nothing more to add to this.
But I imagine that at this point somebody could object to me that Bergoglio has not actually gone outside the Petrine mandate and that he only seeks a pastoral application of the faith that is adapted to the times. But it is clear above all else that the so-called "pastoral revolution" is actually demolishing doctrine itself, thus it is a cunning fiction.
But you asked me why, and what is in the mind and heart of the present leadership. I will try to respond to this. Naturally no one can judge the intentions of individual consciences. And yet it must be said that when a person acts in good faith he is willing to take into account the dubia [doubts] of those around him, to question himself, and above all to recognize denials of reality.
In this case it could also be assumed — at the beginning — that the "pastoral" idea of "approaching" the world in order to bring people to the Church was pursued in good faith, but this (equivocal) idea was quickly proven to be unsuccessful during the post-conciliar years — above all in Latin America — and so from the beginning it was clearly a bad path. The bankrupt results of the 1960s and 1970s have been confirmed in the past seven years, but no one has had second thoughts: in fact, it has been proclaimed that the revolution must be carried forward to its completion.
Well, to err is human, but to persevere in error is diabolical. When we add to these bankrupt results the now-evident ideological submission of the Church to the powers of this world (that are definitely anti-Catholic), and when we also see the iron fist coming down on those people, both religious and lay, who want to remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church, I would say that we are watching the leaders of the Church work against the Church.
There is one question that is very close to your heart and that you have studied thoroughly: the resignation of Benedict XVI. Why did Ratzinger step aside? Is it possible that he did not have any idea what would happen next? Or did he know very well and desire that certain processes already underway would reach extreme consequences in order to better oppose them?
Also in this case, no one can pretend to know the personal thoughts of Benedict XVI. Certainly Pope Bergoglio was not elected by him, but by a College of Cardinals that clearly had no knowledge of the candidate during a conclave and pre-conclave of which there are many details that still need to be clarified.
But, as far as what concerns the resignation and his choice to be "Pope Emeritus," I believe that, based on the documents in hand, it is now clear that Benedict XVI did not intend to resign — or totally resign — the Petrine munus.
As Archbishop Ganswein explained in his famous conference at the Gregorian University:
Both before and after his resignation, Benedict understood and understands his task to be a participation in such a "Petrine ministry." He left the papal throne, and yet, with the step taken on February 11, 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry at all.
There is another passage from Archbishop Ganswein that I would like to highlight:
He has not abandoned the office of Peter, a thing which would be completely impossible for him following his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.
To me, these seem to be explosive words (and they have never been denied by Pope Benedict). The closest collaborator of Benedict XVI explains to us that for Joseph Ratzinger "the acceptance of the office" of Peter is "irrevocable" and to abandon it is "totally impossible." Although the Vatican continues to pretend that everything is clear, we the Christian people are allowed to ask questions about what really happened in February 2013 and what is the place of Benedict XVI in the Church today.
In the face of today's soft totalitarian materialism, the Church ought to stand up in the breach as the last defense of mankind. Instead, she often appears eager to rush to the aid of the dominant powers. What is that all about? Ignorance? The usual old sense of inferiority with respect to the world? Or a pure and simple lack of faith?
I would distinguish — as the saints have taught us — the Church from the men of the Church. The Church remains the Spouse of Christ, desiring to please God; whereas a good part of the men of the Church show themselves to be very desirous of receiving the applause of the world, that is, of the powers of this world. The thought of God's judgment does not even seem to cross their minds.
As you will recall, Paul VI confided his anguish about this situation to his friend Jean Guitton:
There is a great disturbance in this moment in the world and in the Church, and what is in question is the Faith. It often happens now that I repeat to myself the mysterious phrase of Jesus in the Gospel of Saint Luke: "When the Son of Man returns, will he still find faith on the earth?"
And then he continued:
What strikes me when I consider the Catholic world is that at times within Catholicism a non-Catholic type of thought seems to predominate, and it may happen that in the near future this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will predominate. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a little flock continues to exist, no matter how tiny it may be.
And what advice do you want to give to the "little flock"?
Continually be converted and remain faithful and united: faithful to Christ, faithful to the Church, faithful to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, faithful to the papacy, faithful to what the Church has always and everywhere taught from Saint Peter to Benedict XVI. Bear witness to the truth as Jesus asks of us in the Gospel (that is, heroically), and pray for the repentance of Bergoglio, that he may retrace his steps, correct himself, and not direct the destruction of the Church any further. Finally, pray to Jesus Christ asking him to visibly give a Catholic Pope back to His Church and grant us that he will be able to bear witness for the salvation of the world.
Edited by Aldo Maria Valli
Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino
Originally published at Aldo Maria Valli's website.