I’m Michael Voris coming to you from London, England.
This country is planted thick with churches and convents and monasteries and practically all of them are stolen property. Buildings that originally were built by Catholic religious orders and everyday Catholics over the course of centuries were ripped off from the Catholic Church in a handful of years because Henry VIII couldn’t control his sexual desires.
So part of the fabric of English Catholicism is this undercurrent of having been victimized by the Protestant, usurping monarchy and greedy noblemen. It’s woven into the very life and language of some faithful English Catholics — even so far as questioning the legitimacy of the royal family because the monarchy was also a victim of theft during the religious battles of England.
But how did all this come to pass almost 500 years ago? How did a country, a nation so faithful to the Church that it was called “Mary’s Dowry,” simply flip so easily to the state-run Protestant entity known as Anglicanism, or the Church of England?
This much is certain: because of the cowardice and political machinations of the Catholic bishops of the time. Those bishops simply miscalculated. They thought that Henry’s threat to the Church would pass soon enough and things would go back to life as usual. What they failed to include in their calculus was all the other characters waiting in the wings to devour the Church — people like Lutheran-in-spirit Thomas Cranmer and the large number of English who had much to profit from a financially weakened Church and so forth. There were many Englishmen just waiting for the moment when they could tear the Church apart and seize Her lands, holdings, properties, buildings, etc. Those bishops, just like many today, failed to see the larger, much broader agenda at work just beneath the surface.
The Church has all kinds of enemies, all types that have an interest in seeing Her be destroyed. Some hate the teachings. Others have a guilty conscience and take it out on the Chuch. Others still are indifferent and simply see the Church as standing in the way of cultural "progress." Others see the Church as an artifact of the Middle Ages whose time has passed, and who should be relegated to history. Many have a specific agenda, such as sodomite marriage, and want the Church out of the debate.
Despite the intentions, they are all motivated by evil, and when people are motivated by evil (and it doesn’t matter if it’s conscious or not), they are capable of anything when put in the right circumstances.
Consider what happened here in this very country: the gruesome martyrdom of Catholics, the outlawing of the Faith, the overrunning of hundreds of monasteries and schools and parishes.
This was a Catholic country through and through, and it was a lustful desire of the Catholic king that brought it all tumbling down.
The son of King Henry VIII, Edward VI, is the one who essentially bulldozed the Church over the cliff here, while after a brief Catholic respite under half-sister Mary, Elizabeth I came to the throne and finished the job. But that coy old witch was very clever indeed.
In order to bring an end to the sectarian revolts, she advanced a hybrid religion, one that looked Catholic on the outside, to win the favor of all the stupid, largely Catholic populace, too uneducated to really notice that underneath the Catholic veneer was a decidedly anti-Catholic religion.
Things appeared rather normal to most people, who went about their business as usual as England was slowly transformed into the non-Catholic nation that it is today, stripped of nearly all its former Catholic glory.
When smart Catholics caught on and began a quiet seditionist movement to keep the Faith alive by sneakily importing English priests from a secret seminary established in France, Elizabeth showed her true colors by capturing and killing many of them. More than 200 years before France’s Reign of Terror against the Faith, Satan had a warm-up act in the Elizabethan terror campaign on these shores.
It would not be long after "Good Queen Bess," as protestant history references her, that Englishmen in search of public office would have to renounce belief in the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Blessed Lord.
That this happened under the reign of King Charles II of the Stuarts is one of those historical ironies. As King of England he was also head of the Anglican church (small c), which historians note he roundly despised. But he played the game, even looking the other way when notable English martyr and archbishop of Armaugh Oliver Plunkett was hanged, drawn and quartered at the infamous Tyburn, which Elizabeth had put to good use.
As Charles lay dying, a priest, John Huddlestone, who had saved his life in battle during his youth, was now smuggled in to save his soul. Protestant King Charles II converted to the Catholic faith his last full day on earth, and following absolution and anointing, the Blessed Sacrament was held over him and he made a profession of faith, breaking English law.
Today, Protestant anti-Catholicism has been overthrown by secular anti-Catholicism. A widely acclaimed novel — “Wolf Hall” by author Hillary Mantel — has been turned into a spectacular TV production by the BBC and has now begun airing on PBS back in the States as of Easter Sunday. The novel seeks to deliberately turn history on its ear and depict St. Thomas More as a villainous, rotten man and Thomas Cromwell as an effective administrator having to contest the evil More at every turn. It is very important to note that author Hillary Mantel has said publicly that the Catholic Church is not a place for respectable people.
There is a lesson for Catholics in the West everywhere outside of England to learn from English Catholics: the tide is turning swiftly and strongly against Catholics. Just as happened here almost 500 years ago, the power of the state was used to extinguish Catholic life, and it all began because of King Henry’s lust.
America doesn’t have a king — at least officially, Mr. Obama — but the culture sets patterns and views like a king. Whether those powers are assumed into a single lust-crazed, murderous monarch, or spread out over a society that kills for love of sex, matters little in the end. The powers that be — whether king or culture — cannot let Catholic truth remain, because Catholic truth is an affront to them.
Catholics in America, unlike here in England, can’t easily relate to the reality of having your churches stolen from you and your property ripped from you. But the lesson to be learned from Merry Olde England is this: When the scales tip far enough (and they are tipping most decidedly), anything can happen.
Catholics in the West need to be preparing spiritually for persecution. The forces gathering against the Church from every side may be multi-dimensional, but they are totally united in their goal because of who it is that commands them.