Reverend Father Leonardo Castellani
A prophet of the end of times
By Father Juan Carlos Ceriani
Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope
Prophetic ConjecturesOnce the question has been posed, based on History and on the prophesies of the Apocalypse, he draws his own conclusions on the future of the Church and of Christianity.
a) Christianity will be trampled on
The Church created European Christendom on the foundation of the Roman Order. Faith irradiated little by little and went about penetrating its surroundings, family, customs, laws, politics. All of this is being cracked and contaminated; when not in a purely apostatic manner, as in Russia, some day it will be «trampled by the gentiles» of the new paganism. That is the temple's atrium. The sanctuary will remain, that is, the pure and obscure faith, sorrowful and oppressed, the temple measured by the prophet with the «reed-like rod», which is the sorrowful hope in the Second Coming, the reed they gave to the Ecce Homo and the iron scepter that his Father gave Him to shatter them to pieces. (Los Papeles de Benjamín Benavides, page 294)
b) The Church will yield in its external framework:
The enormous pressure of the unbelieving masses and of the governments, either Machiavellan or else hostile, will weigh horribly on everything that keeps itself faithful; the Church will yield in its external structure, and the faithful «will have to take refuge» flying «in the desert» of the faith. Only very few, those who have purchased “drops for the eyes and pure refined gold» with the renunciation to everything earthly, will maintain their faith immaculate (...) Those few «will not be able to buy or sell», or to circulate or address the masses through the great publicity media, fallen in the hands of the political power; and, later on, of the Anti-Christ: that is why they will be few. Situations calling for heroism, especially of super-human heroism, are for the few; and if those days were not to be abbreviated, not even one would remain. But the Church is not to be built, it has already been built, an immense cathedral of stone and clay, with a light inside. It will not disappear as though it had been made of smoke, the walls will remain, at least the rubble, and on the altars, gilt and honored with the bones of the martyrs, the Son of Perdition, the Unjust will one day seat himself, whose operation will be all of Satan´s power, for the perdition of those who did not hold fast to the truth and consented with the iniquity. (Los papeles de Benjamín Benavides, pages 292-293).
c) That was written in 1947; ten years later he will anticipate that, if the world is to die soon, liberal democratism will be nefariously reinforced by a religion impregnated with the Anti-Christ.
Liberal democratism, in which we have been born, can be considered a heresy, but also, luckily, a kind of carnival or buffoonery; with that, you can avoid weeping too much, although it is also not licit for you to laugh too much. It is now among us in its last stage of development and a kind of malignant joy is the thinker's temptation, who sees all his predictions fulfilled, and sees unravel in an almost automatic order all of the forewarnings of ancient prophets and wise men who, beginning with Aristotle, saw it coming and watched how it ended... the same way as it is ending among us. In itself, it should perish if humanity should go on living, but the possibility is not to be excluded that democratism will go on existing and even that it be reinforced nefariously if humanity should perish soon in conformity with Christian dogma. But that will not but be backed by a religion, being brought to light the religious ferment that it in itself encloses, and which strictly makes it a Christian heresy, the last heresy perhaps, maybe pregnant with the Anti-Christ. (Una religión y una moral de repuesto. Cristo, ¿vuelve o no vuelve?, page 278).
d) In the meantime, to those that do not want to see, to those who see but do not love truth enough, to light Catholics, a replacement religion is supplied.
The spectacle that our country presents, seen spiritually makes one cry. Liberalism has provided the poor people ― not all, but those who do not love truth enough ― a replacement religion and morality, substitutes for the real ones; a vain simulation of the things, sometimes wrapped in sacred words. What it is to see so many poor devils making of a party an Absolute and placing their salvation in a name which is not Christ´s ― even when sometimes the name of Christ is also there, as an ornament or as a bait! They get full of empty words, they vomit bombastic formulas, they become passionate for Utopian ideals, straighten the nation or the world with four puerile judgments, swallow the lies of the press as dogma or as facts; and discuss, fight, denigrate and hate each other in vain, for matters more banal than smoke... An artificial life, discordant with reality, devours their life (Una religión y una moral de repuesto. Cristo, ¿vuelve o no vuelve?, pages 278-279).
e) The replacement religion and morality which in 1957 could be misinterpreted only as an eagerness directed to what is temporal, burst in afterwards with the overbearing force of the strictly religious; to the point that the classical option between the two masters in the Gospel, the two loves and two cities of Saint Augustine, the two standards of Saint Ignatius, presented itself clearly in the alternative of Revolution or Tradition.
We should not delude ourselves: in the world today there are not but two parties. The one, which can be called the Revolution, tends with gigantic force to the destruction of all the ancient and inherited order, to raise over its ruins a new paradisiacal world and, a tower that reaches the sky; and, by the way, it does not lack magical formulas, decisions, and schemes for that future construction; it has all the plans, which are among the most delicious in the world. The other, which can be called Tradition, tends to follow the admonition of the Apocalypse: «keep all the things you have received, even if they are human and perishable things» (Una religión y una moral de repuesto. Cristo, ¿vuelve o no vuelve?, page 282).
What is the characteristic of our times if not an immense movement to destroy the Western tradition from the root and a heroic decision to conserve it and revive it? (San Agustín y nosotros, page 10).
The Conciliar Church opts for the revolutionThe Conciliar Church, the one which manifested itself and grabbed the powers of the Catholic Church during the last Council «tends with gigantic force to the destruction of all the ancient and inherited order». It is not our intention to extend ourselves to demonstrate these affirmations. There are numerous books devoted to the topic. It will suffice us to present some examples.
Before the closing of Vatican Council II, the then mere priest Joseph Ratzinger, advisory peritus to the cardinal of Cologne, expressed in his book “Results and Perspectives in the Conciliar Church” assertions such as the following: “Time will come in which the debate over religious liberty will be counted among the most relevant events of a Council, which, by the way, offers such an abundance of important events which makes it difficult to establish a scale of values. In this debate what we call the end of the Middle Ages, even more, of the Constantinian era, was present in Saint Peter's Cathedral. Few things of the last fifty years have inflicted such enormous damage to the Church as the staunch persistence in positions proper of a State Church, left behind in the course of history. (...) That resorting to the State on the part of the Church since Constantine, with its culmination in the Middle Ages and in the absolutist Spain of the incipient Modern Age constitutes for the Church in today's world one of the most burdensome mortgages, is a fact from which anybody capable of thinking historically can no longer deny. (...) It is clear that the opposers of the text, in negating not the freedom of conscience but the freedom of religion were fighting for a world which is crumbling down, whereas the other party fought hard to open a way which leads to the future” (Resultados y Perspectivas en la Iglesia Conciliar, Ediciones Paulinas, Buenos Aires, August 1965, pages 41-45).
Ratzinger, twenty years later, Cardinal heading the Roman Congregation, in his book “The Principles of Catholic Theology” confirms his thinking on this surprising event; speaking about the Declaration Gaudium et Spes, he says: “If an overall diagnosis of the text is sought, it can be said that it is (along with the texts on religious liberty and on world's religions) a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of contra-Syllabus (...) It suffices that we satisfy ourselves with proving that the text plays the role of a counter-Syllabus, to the extent that it represents an attempt for the official reconciliation of the Church with the world as it has become after 1789 (...) Hardly anyone today will deny that the Spanish and Italian concordats strove to preserve too much of a conception of the world that long time ago has no longer corresponded to the real circumstances.(...) Likewise, almost nobody can deny that this antiquated attachment to the relations between Church and State corresponded similar anachronisms in the domination of education (,,,) The duty, then is not the suppression of the Council but the uncovering of the real Council and the deepening of its true will. This implies that there cannot be a return to the Syllabus, the which could have been a first yank in the confrontation with nascent liberalism and marxism but it cannot be the last word.” (Los Principios de la Teología Católica, Téqui, Paris,1985, págs. 426-437).
There may be some who say that Cardinal Ratzinger is not a sufficiently authorized voice. Let us, then, resort to Pope John Paul II himself and consider only two paragraphs in his address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, October 11, 1988. This pontifical dissertation has capital importance, not only because of the circumstances in which it was delivered but also because it was considered by European parliamentarians as the best political address of John Paul II pontificate.
The first quote we want to highlight departs from what the Church's magisterium taught about the «old order founded on the religious faith», basis of the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, clearly expressed in encyclicals Quanta Cura, Immortale Dei, Sapientiae Christianae and Quas Primas: “For some, civil and political liberty, in its time conquered by the overthrow of the old order founded on the religious faith, is conceived still united to marginalization, that is, to the suppression of religion, in which an alienation system is tended to be seen. For some believers, on the contrary, a life in conformity with the faith would not be possible except by a return to this old order, besides frequently idealized. These two antagonistic attitudes do not contribute a solution which is compatible with the Christian message and the genius of Europe.”
The second text is a worthy ending to the most important political speech of John Paul II: Ecologism, Fraternity, and Humanism ... all under the sign of Deism. Definitely, a soulless and Christless Europe. Here is the Vatican II version of Quas Primas: “In concluding, I would like to recall three fields in which it seems to me that the integrated Europe, open to the East of the continent, generous toward the other hemisphere, would have to return to a role of lighthouse to world civilization: first, reconcile man with creation, caring to preserve the integrity of nature, its flora and fauna, its air and waters, its subtle equilibria, its limited resources, its beauty which worships the glory of its Creator. Then, reconciling men with their equals, the ones accepting the others among europeans of diverse cultural traditions or schools of thought, being welcoming to the foreigner and the refugee, opening up to the spiritual richness of the peoples of other continents. Finally, reconciling man with himself: yes, strive to reconstruct an integrated and thorough vision of man and the world, against the cultures of mistrust and of dishumanization, a vision in which science, technical capacity, and art do not exclude but claim the faith in God” (L'Osservatore Romano", edición semanal castellana, 27/ 11 / 1988).
(to be continued)