Pope Francis as Progenitor of the Second Protestant Revolution:
Roman Catholic Eschatological and Soteriological Disquisition and the Confederate States of America
By Joseph Andrew Settanni
“Christianity is essentially an historic and prophetic faith.” – Desmond Birch
Why is the Holy Pontiff so dedicated to seeking the radicalization, the Protestantization, of Catholicism? The Holy Father’s obviously tremendous devotion to Liberation Theology, besides his existentialist and phenomenological orientations in thought, logically so compels him firmly forward toward theological revolution extremely far beyond mere liturgical changes.
He is a true and determined revolutionist, not a supposed mild reformer. Much of Catholic tradition and the Faith of the Church is being reviled as reactionary garbage unworthy of modern people.
However, just saying this is not enough, for tens of millions upon millions of the faithful are enamored of this man in a very disturbing cultic manner that does, therefore, a certainly distinct disservice to his greatly preeminent sacerdotal office.
A “shocking” means of creative illustration and much pointed discussion must then be critically applied for better waking people up out of a dangerous slumber, as with the old allegory of a frog being slowly boiled to death without sensing it. It is no wonder, one suspects, that the popular press and mass media adores him so much. These matters are made quite urgent because of the future quincentennial of the Lutheran Revolt in 2017.
Pope Francis and His Transformationist Thaumaturgy
This article is dedicated lovingly to the memory of G. K. Chesterton in that he, with his so odd way of knowing truth, inclusive of Catholic truth, would easily see the ironic “connection” involved in the subtitle of this expository piece. Ironically, over 150 years later no less, this nation is still being hotly engaged in fighting against (at least the entire memory of) the, in a sense, Southern Confederacy, inclusive of many long-forgotten hoary battlefields.
Can American Catholicism, however, be really entangled in all this? If one were, e. g., to use the Bing browser to search for “Southern Confederacy and Roman Catholic Church,” no less than 4,550,000 results would pop up for referencing. It may be a revelation to most people on the interconnectedness and interrelationships never easily suspected. For instance, no less a major personage than Gen. James Longstreet, so favorably called by Gen. Robert E. Lee his “Old Warhorse,” was a Catholic convert.
Fr. Abram Joseph Ryan was an American poet and a rather active advocate of the Confederate States of America. He has been notably called the “Poet-Priest of the South” and, somewhat less often, the “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.” Among many others, the famous Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard and Admiral Raphael Semmes were cradle Catholics; in fact, twenty generals of the Southern cause were Catholics, which was highly unusual for a truly Papist-hating America with both elites and the populace generally sharing such an opinion.
Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories, was a convert. Though it is anti-Catholic fiction, some people now link Lincoln’s assassination to a bunch of Jesuits; since some Catholics, such as Mrs. Mary Jenkins Surratt and her son, John Surratt Jr., were, in fact, among those either hung or convicted in absentia by the Union. Interestingly, Dr. Samuel Mudd, it can so be curiously noted, was also a Catholic. More currently, what bizarre and definitely disconcerting stuff has been, rather unfortunately, going on in this sad country, in this now lost America?
Graves of long-dead Confederate heroes are macabrely ordered removed (false resurrections?), Old Dixie flags on tombstones also, old public monuments are to all go as well; there is to be an absolute, ongoing eradication, obliteration, from the national memory of anything Southern, including the names of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and others, that stinks of the South and of the War of the Rebellion, as it was once first, in fact, officially known.
Much of American tradition and the “faith” of Dixie is being reviled as reactionary garbage unworthy of modern people (rather notably similar to the Pope’s attack upon orthodox Catholicism, for the many interesting solid parallels should, crescively, become obvious).
Unending and unappeasable hatred is, therefore, now to be evilly revived ever endlessly and made more livid perpetually, as is ideologically and politically thought so very necessary, of course. Much obnoxious demonism, consequently, is joyously and freely let loose in the land, since anti-Catholicism, a long and still persistent feature of American history, and anti-Confederate thinking go very well together; this is even regardless, incidentally, of the KKK’s viciously anti-Catholic position.
But, what’s the actual connection, if any, with the subjects of eschatology and soteriology, besides the rather macabre and phony Confederate “resurrections” so noted? Both of the theologically significant subjects of eschatology and soteriology, of course, tend to be quite normally considered rather too esoteric or too abstract for just most common talk. This is surely, in truth, a widely false, yet, certainly pedestrian opinion as to the importance involved or, at the least, what should be involved.
Common church catechisms, e. g., rarely get into these normally rather intense topics or, slightly, if at all. But, cognition all these lines as to some requisite cognizance is needed more than ever for the 21st century with its mass apostasy, neopaganism, reprimitivization, and rebarbarization running rampant.
The revived domestic war against the Confederacy will be here heuristically used, however, as a surely fascinating means of cleverly elucidating the critical theological and religious points that really need to be made; this is to, thus, help make eschatology and soteriology much more readily available and immediate, for more improved thought and reflection, for contemporary minds drowning in a too regnant secularization.
To remind a secular society and culture, eschatology, in both Catholic hermeneutics and exegesis, is the particular major branch of Christian systematic theology rightly concerned with death, judgment, and the absolute final destination of the soul and of mankind as a whole: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell, the four last things, for all people. Hades is the overall place of purgation, Gehenna is the eternal Infernal Regions itself. Purgatory, then, being only intermediate regarding the final matters, after the individual and general judgments are to be done. Eternity, thus, is to become the absolute certainty of all this, whether either Paradise eternally or, of course, just going to Hell (read: Gehenna) forever.
Eschatology, also, covers the study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the last times and of the era or period of time regarding the return of Christ, meaning the Second Coming, also denominated as the Parousia, and the events that are said to then necessarily follow, meaning the new Heaven and the new Earth.
Related reading would certainly include such truly major theological works, on the noted subject, as Desmond A. Birch’s Trial, Tribulation & Triumph; he covers such matters as the tropological exegesis of the Bible, meaning theological interpretations of, relating to, or concerning biblical elucidations as to figurative speech or emphasis upon moral metaphor usage versus the heretical nonsense of Protestant fundamentalism and such preachers thereof. And, the absurdities of many Catholic “higher criticism” pundits.
Soteriology is the study or doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ and a major subdivision of theology concerning the nature and means of salvation. It is one thing, however, to emphasize that eschatology is prior to soteriology in basic logical terms; it is yet another, nonetheless, to proclaim its precedence in terms of actual importance, which would not, by definition, be theologically or doctrinally true.
The currently, upcoming moral and theological disaster, next year, when the so heretical Pope Francis, who is the Primate of Italy, insanely co-celebrates the Protestant birth of Lutheranism makes important (orthodox) knowledge of Catholic soteriology so very pertinent and necessary; this is for then affirming strongly Catholic life and belief, theology and culture, against the truly wicked Holy Father’s next ardent and evil embrace of so much blatant heresy and, thus, its necessary promotion of sinfulness; for any such heinous celebration of such heresy is surely, by definition, evil.
Lutheranism and Protestantism in general ought to be totally rejected, not ever praised as being equally valid as to an approach toward genuine Christianity, meaning desired and affirmed theological and religious orthodoxy. The precious blood of Catholic martyrs, as with St. Thomas More, calls out this truth to be noticed, for the current Holy Pontiff will become a champion of schism truly needing to be opposed. This Servant of the Servants of Christ, by wanting to consider the notion of women as being deacons, is slyly pushing the intended agenda for, in future, having female priestesses. None should doubt his quite cunning perfidy and artfulness.
Consequently, it is so manifestly obvious that the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, and his supportive theologians will just snidely use this horrible occasion to launch an astounding attack against and upon Catholic soteriology that will, in its turn, surely affect and, one logically suspects, have definitely harsh reverberations upon and athwart the Church’s proper eschatology.
The loyal defenders of Catholicism against Protestantism will be supplied, by this article, some useful ammunition, in the future theological battle that will most certainly occur, easily because of the Pope’s rather usual and blatant perfidy, his knowing casual duplicity of both words and actions taken. A false intellectualism will, thus, aid heresy, along with a misdirected, ill-begotten piety and an allied feigned piousness to be artfully used for better concealing the demonic reality of heterodoxy.
Catholics need to be warned about the subtlety of the vile changes that will be made against traditional soteriology, both directly and indirectly, in congruence with the revolutionary Second Vatican Council, meaning the demonic “Spirit of VC II.” This warning is given because the corruption of the main body of the Church hierarchy will, thus, facilitate the corruption of sound dogmas and doctrines.
This is to be done by their permitting practices that will, in their turn, necessarily reflect back upon and distort the traditional and morally sound teachings of the Church. One must come to quite intelligently perceive that Pope Francis, therefore, seeks to deliberately corrupt the Magisterium. But, what should ever be thought and taught against this rather intentional subversion qua institutional sabotage?
Let not these important perspicacious principles of the Church Militant be ever forgotten: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. For as ever conversely, Malum Lex Credendi, Malum Lex Vivendi = Malum Lex Provendi. There should be no rational or moral doubt of this so foundational truth, since it has been obviously and widely observed as being quite plainly operative in, at least, the last fifty years in such a negative sense.
Millions of souls may, in fact, thus end up going to Hell because of what the Divine Pontiff is to do by openly and enthusiastically praising the viciously anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic bigot, Martin Luther, as a (supposed) champion and paladin of Christianity. He became an idolater of Holy Scripture who always peremptorily, dictatorially, made Protestant worship greater than God. Rather, what is needed now is for a great “Lion of the Church” to stand up and publicly and courageously denounce Pope Francis so vigorously and, therefore, expose him as the vile heretic he most certainly is. For promoting the Church Militant ad Jesum per Mariam, the ever important and unyielding defense of the Holy Faith is now vitally needed, not a great concern for possibly offending papal cultists or personalities.
A heterodox dagger will, in effect, be plunged into the very heart of Holy Mother Church, without many people really noticing, because of a great lack of needed catechesis, generation after generation, among the faithful. In the militant spirit of the great St. Athanasius, what needs here to be explicitly stated and stressed, therefore, for truly a profound theological consideration? Why is there the real need in true humility and thoughtful prayer to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, not simply one’s intellect alone?
Sacred (read: Apostolic) Tradition, a true part of Catholic Revelation, is not to be denigrated as being supposedly subject to relativism, as with that Modernism rightly condemned by Pope St. Pius X; sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition are equally part of Revelation added to and interpreted by the Church’s Magisterium; all three do confirm each other, none denies any of the others; one can note that just as the Catholic eschaton, contemptuous of efforts to mythologize faith, is radically different from the false Protestant conception, the linear historicity of Christianity is opposed to any paganism, with its cyclical viewpoint of just endless cosmological myth. All of Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium then direct attention toward salvation, not nirvana or any modern equivalents.
Any vile attempt, by the wayward Servant of the Servants of Christ or his supporters, to attack Tradition as subordinate to Scripture or the set force of the Magisterium is, by definition, heretical and should be then unequivocally rejected as such; furthermore, if in case such argumentation be used, any “higher criticism” conforms wrongly to perfidious Modernism (and, e. g., the Hegelian Karl Rahner’s heretical thinking), not true Catholicism nor, for that pointed matter, genuine orthodoxy; this is, thus, as to the aforementioned warning rendered for needed defense of the sensus fidei; and, those, for instance, who heretically question the consciousness of Christ do not usually hesitate to disparage Marian devotion.
And, within this present article, one sees manifestly that this is why clearly solid cognizance of Catholic soteriology and eschatology are, indeed, so rather urgently important; this is now for an appreciation of genuine Catholicism, but some fine points require giving, below, a specific consideration in set context, much more requisite than any various thoughts of Catholic links to (fading) national memories of the still nonexistent Confederacy.
The proper consideration of eschatology is, therefore, before an appropriate soteriology, and this needs to be requisitely understood and epistemologically comprehended as such. All rigorous eschatological asseverations position correct soteriological statements into their accurate place within a theocentric extrapolation as to a true Christology, the study of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
This is for properly attaining a verifiably true Christocentric attitude toward Catholicism as to it being the only right Faith, by definition, suitable for all Christians who do or would profess genuine belief in Christ, not Protestantism. Such a concern here covers vast ranges of speculation and discussion, conjecture and dialogue, as to the End Times, of course.
Putting the Last Things First
To push aside unneeded debris, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the Protestant heresy of the so-called Rapture, a psycho-cosmic, End Times jamboree that magically drags up souls or people to a presumed paradise of some kind, usually suggested or said to be Heaven. The End Times are truly nowhere near at all because, among other things as definite signs, there has been no mass conversion of the Jewish people, as is, thus, so correctly noted in Birch’s aforementioned and theologically orthodox volume entitled: Trial, Tribulation & Triumph. Equally, as to various matters pertaining to just private revelations, moreover, they have not yet been made formally a part of Church doxology or dogmatics.
Serious Christians, especially all Roman Catholics, will need to avoid the posited tremendous varieties of weirdness being widely preached with ardent certainty, as to many supposedly definite eschatological and soteriological approaches, concerning theological or religious speculation, over a truly wide field. The effort here, in this article, is to clearly enunciate and extrapolate the specified parameters of what only should be legitimately considered, not wildly hazarded about, as to many propositions of vagrant pronouncements by diverse insinuations or precipitous allusions, generation after generation.
One ought to know, in general, that the Roman Catholic Church says comparatively little about many speculative future events that are to occur just prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Many of the Church’s teachings are, moreover, denunciations or refutations, whether either implicit or explicit in nature, and not really positive assertions of the encompassing of all particular beliefs. If there is doubt, it is best to be dogmatic in attitude, not lazily speculative.
Furthermore, true theological orthodoxy does not actually go well with any religiously-inspired sorts of clairvoyance or subjective speculation, which point is decisively opposed to any Christian Evangelicalism, to any allegedly “Reformed” religion and its, thus, necessarily heterodox vices. Catholic mysticism, in the manner, e. g., of St. Theresa of Ávila, does not mix with heterodoxy and, moreover, never should, which illustrates why the so-called Catholic Charismatic Movement needs to be regarded only as a total sham mimicking, sad aping, of diverse Protestant fanaticisms and delusions; one could relatedly consult Fr. Ronald Knox’s still useful book titled: Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion.
Church teachings, as examples, cover such notable matters as the obvious dispensational contradiction between the Church and Israel, in that the former logically holds to the proper doctrine of theological supersessionism; he religious leadership of ancient Israel had broken the Covenant with Yahweh and He confirmed it by ripping the veil of the Temple at Jerusalem. Christians live by the dispensation of the New Testament. In any event, the upholding of true Christianity means denouncing the various illogical and sundry, heretical and strange, Protestant “secret” Raptures, and the (supposedly) coming terrene chiliastic or millennialist kingdom, usually or so basically denominated as being Christ’s assumed reign of (just exactly) one thousand years.
Though why exactly 1,000 years, and not ever a few years more or less, goes to the nature of biblical interpretations (or, rather, misinterpretations) quite at home with different Protestant sects, each so claiming absolute scriptural authority, of course. In addition, how they seemingly know, so thoroughly, the exact mind of the Lord God Almighty has not really been ever satisfactorily elucidated as such.
Faith alone, based Sola Scriptura, is then apparently all that one, in this regard, needs, or apparently so. Thus, the ardent assertion and profound belief in the coming Rapture lends it always both inherent credence and fundamental truth simultaneously and without any serious question.
Meanwhile, the secularization of the modern age surely presents its very own fanaticism in contrast; for instance, the raw demonic desire of the world’s republican regimes to fanatically separate Church and State has, thus, simultaneously meant separating all of God from government; but, this does not excuse Christian extremism, “Rapturism,” or thoughts on any other supposed legitimate topics.
The Church of Rome, however, adheres wisely to some quite definite and limited teachings that are yet manifestly clear and theologically concise. No doubt, for instance, is placed upon the obviously claimed fact of a future Second Coming; there will, moreover, definitely be a particular time of needed trial that the Church must necessarily bear, an Antichrist at that time will arise, the conversion will occur of Israel to Christ, a surely conclusive judgment of all people on earth will then happen, and the absolute entirety of the self-actualization, the realization, of the Kingdom of Christ that has, in fact, already begun in the Church.
Within those particular cited limitations, Catholic speculation may traverse quite easily, by consulting the Bible according to the Church’s teachings, and pursue a good quest for theological knowledge to obtain an improved understand of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, the many various particularities and assorted peculiarities of what might be called “Rapturism” need never apply for any Roman Catholics, fortunately. While Catholicism is an exoteric, not esoteric, faith, though with many mysteries involved, it has never been a Gnostic “mystery religion” shielding all but the chosen few as to theological knowledge and religious truth.
This is not, however, to deny that the charism of prophecy, a gratuitous gift of grace, inclusive of any Church-sanctioned private revelations, is still real for Catholics, only ever that heterodoxy is, of course, always to be held as being in error; and, moreover, one can find confirmation of this fact in the Acts of the Apostles and the pronouncements of the First Vatican Council, as to such upheld charism of faith.
A prudent degree of credulity is recommended toward private revelations. Prophecy, in truth, did not simply end with the early Church, but this particular truth should never be erroneously confused with any kinds of charismatic movements’ distortions and confusions.
While, in proper mystical theology, post-Apostolic prophecies are still possible, all public Revelation ended with the death of St. John the Evangelist, the Apostle so beloved by Jesus; and, one ought to know that this is, in fact, orthodox teaching. However, there is to be no absolute incredulity placed ever against any ecclesiastically-authorized private revelations, visions, or apparitions, as is properly affirmed by the teachings of mystical theology.
Keeping all the above correctly in mind, meaning especially as to the final things that Christians really ought to logically consider for their desired salvation, it is a truly firm and quite definite part of Christian teachings that there can be no salvation without forgiveness. One’s enemies are to be forgiven if there is the hope that God will, in turn, forgive one’s own transgressions, both the sins of commission and omission inclusive. But, the Confederacy, as was mentioned earlier, is apparently never to be forgiven, while this nation, one supposes, seeks, e. g., forgiveness for, at least, a temporal kind of an often ersatz assumed “salvation” of a strange kind, by being so PC in one’s attitudes.
However, intensely enormous hatred of the Confederate States, even after 150 years later, seems as forever perpetual as is, in fact, Hell itself. If Christians wish to achieve salvation, this illustrates why the last things, as to eschatology, ought to be among the properly first matters thought of for salvation; and, consequently, the soteriological ways and means of achieving a truly wanted redemption or deliverance should be knowingly incorporated into any theological viewing of eschatological facts to be confronted.
Looking backwards or seeking means of sustaining or reviving hatred, as with the noted illustration of the evil obsession with the Confederacy, does more than just suggest how people can come to love sin and related vices. But, in reiteration, where there is no forgiveness, there is no salvation, for, ultimately, the only assurance, valid certainty, for the hope of any redemption is Jesus the Christ, the true Messiah, and confirmed by the dogma of the Hypostatic Union.
One can, right usefully, recall to mind Chesterton’s interesting observation that a “gentleman” can keep “ten thousand or more commandments, but never just ten.” So, the evasion of sin and damnation is difficult to avoid whenever sin and, e. g., hatred dominates the human heart. Only if someone’s heart is filled with charity, meaning exemplary of the finest and highest meaning and demonstration of true Christianity, the full spirit of the Gospels acted out in a human life, can there be, then, any real hope for salvation, not otherwise.
All hatred would have to cease, including any animosity insanely directed toward the Confederate States of America, for such hatred, it will be made clear, reflects necessarily upon the Catholic Church as well. Such a solid and rather heavy connection between Catholicism and the Confederacy is not so farfetched, as would usually be so believed; some little known history may help to better elucidate the important following point to be made.
The St. Andrew’s Cross was adopted by the Catholic Kings of Scotland as the Scottish flag and banner, and it was later adopted by the Confederate States of America (CSA) for its battle flag.
Blessed Pope Pius IX had most certainly de facto, though not strictly de jure, recognized fully the CSA by both receiving and exchanging official letters with the CSA President, Jefferson Davis (1808 – 1889). He, thus, formally addressed him as the “ILLUSTRIOUS AND HONORABLE PRESIDENT” and not otherwise. The Vatican was the only nation, in the world, to have extended such recognition to the Confederacy.
Though the only Protestant student there, he had as a young lad attended the Dominican Priory’s Saint Thomas School in Washington County, Kentucky. In the 1840s and 1850s, Davis, who had as a child expressed a sincere interest in converting to Catholicism, denounced the viciously anti-Catholic Know Nothing Movement, largely directed against Irish immigrants; and, the Church so certainly remembered that great kindness; by truly opposing such rancid populism (as is all such populism in truth), it was done at some political cost to Davis.
Moreover, a portrait of His Holiness, clearly inscribed with a religious motto written personally by Pope Pius IX, was, in fact, sent to Davis during his quite unfair imprisonment by the Federal government, at Fort Monroe, Virginia.1 The Vatican had certain pro-Confederate sympathies for many justifiable and legitimate reasons. The USA supported the efforts of the viciously Freemason, anticlerical Juarista forces in Mexico who wanted, therefore, a secularist republic thoroughly hostile to the Church.
Lincoln, a man known for not being an enthusiastic church-going Christian, had been, in fact, using major diplomatic pressure, moreover, against France to so totally remove the French occupational forces of the Emperor Maximillian from Mexico to help serve the anti-Catholic forces in that Hispanic nation.
The Union’s sentiments were, therefore, considered to be quite distinctly anti-Catholic and, more so, pro-Freemason. Very little of this intrigue, of course, ever gets explicitly and honestly recorded, on average, in most American history books, except for the usual mention of the Monroe Doctrine.
The claim that the Pope had additionally sent Davis a symbolic crown of thorns is, however, not really true; an 1899 descriptive document covering donations to a museum, sent by Mrs. Varina Davis (1806 – 1926), included the aforementioned crown that was actually woven by her, not His Holiness, as is often erroneously written. But, it is still interesting to note that Catholic prelates had also been among those officiating at that Jefferson Davis funeral.
The presented indisputable linkage between the CSA and Catholicism in this country really exists, as has been above demonstrated. But, there are still critical issues necessarily attendant to contemporary and harsh realities, as to the deliberate reopening of old wounds that get salt harshly rubbed in, for adding to the wanted pain directed against enemies, no matter how long dead.
It might yet be sincerely asked what does all the above have to do with present-day America. Obviously, any nation, after 150 years of “fighting” the War Between the States needs to urgently get in touch with the appropriate understanding of Christian soteriology, the doctrine of the means of salvation through Jesus Christ, for handling properly the ultimates involved with the noted subject of eschatology, of the final terminus of the soul and of mankind as a whole.
However, a much divided, largely secularist nation, having an enraged and very highly vindictive Chief Executive ordering the total removal of all Confederate flags, etc. from any existing government cemeteries is, in the second instance, hardly in any position whatsoever, meaning as to him, for the doing of the supposed seeking out of any Christian grace, assuming that he even is a believer in the first place. Such a matter is as extremely doubtful as it was, e. g., for Abraham Lincoln.
Thus, serious soteriological and profound eschatological studies are both of supreme importance, when contrasting critically the apparent lack thereof; this is as opposed to the evident need for such clearly significant lessons, in a truly wayward country, plunged into an overt crisis, which fully includes its so noticeably active de-Christianization as advocated secularization by government, of course. Any greater justification for this article’s important need, as weaved together in its aforementioned manner, would be just rather much too superfluous in its assertion, much less any such attempted construction so oddly endeavored.
As to soteriology, there can be a plain effort to simply explain it all, as if addressing the boys about to hit the beaches at Tarawa. If salvation is wanted, then, “Thou art to love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole mind, and with thy whole soul, and love thy neighbor as they self.” This covers the entirety of the Law and the Prophets, as Jesus Himself said.
Regarding the specifics of soteriology pertaining to the whole nature and proper means of salvation, this is to be always logically found in the Only, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church with all of its Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium, Seven Holy Sacraments, priesthood, dogmas, doctrines, etc. The holiness of persons, their spiritual metanoia, is, therefore, made achievable, if actually desired.
The consecration of the host, at every Holy Mass, is a direct intimation of the Resurrection and, more than that, theologically guarantees that the Second Coming is to be anticipated, besides being a good and positive soteriological confirmation concerning the truly Catholic plan for salvation. For a decent and proper sacramental life is, in the end, the salvific realization that should so culminate with Extreme Unction for dying in a state of grace, as to earthly finality, in sacred preparation for the later end of the world itself, as doxology, through apologetics, lends itself to better understanding sacramentology.
The Sacred Mass is a recreation, in miniature, of all of salvation history by uniting both the Old and New Testaments in their pointing toward the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, the full celebration, in essence, of the salvific accomplishment of the Messiah: Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Since the fullness of ontological truth was made known by the Son of man, fallen creatures are no longer completely denied a chance of going to Paradise because of what Adam and Eve did.
The true, undoubted linkage from soteriology to eschatology is necessarily supposed to be, thus, a completely seamless web of faith, uniting the Communion of Saints, and ultimately leading souls into Heaven as the final goal of a genuine faith-filled life. Holiness is the desired needed means, salvation is the terminal objective sought, and Christ is, thus, the real reason for hope.
Extreme Unction is both a soteriological means and, moreover, a sort of limited prefigurement of the world’s necessary end, its allied teleological consummation. In that particular sense, certainly, the world “ends” for that deceased person and without a doubt, but the Word of the Lord God is, of course, from everlasting to everlasting.
Catholics, contrary to any rationalizations of religion, are to live with both the Mystery of Good and the Mystery of Evil, which are the ongoing spiritual tensions of faith; whatever mysteries are attached to revelations are no less, of course, a part of the spiritual nature of Catholicism, besides having an appeal to systematic theology whenever needed for getting better interpretations of any past or present visions and prophecies.
As to eschatology proper, it can be said to have faith and truly believe what the Church teaches and certainly ignore all the array of supposed soothsayers, oracles, or clairvoyants who may oppose the teachings, dogmas, and doctrines of (orthodox) Roman Catholicism, and the sought after salvation for all the faithful practicing Catholics, unto the end of this world, which can, thus, be then actually achieved.
The clearly definitive soteriological means for achieving salvation will, therefore, exist as long as the Church does, meaning the one, true Church founded by Jesus Christ., which, in turn, freely so provides the only proper understanding and comprehension of the eschatological realization, for the Day of the Lord and the final consummation of this world. For Catholics, this is then necessarily a de fide teaching that is not to admit of any skepticism, which is hard to avoid for many who worship the earthly gods of materialism, subjectivism, and pragmatism, within a very degenerate culture and its allied sick society.
Maintaining belief is harder than ever when government itself, so consonant with the general Christian apostasy, eagerly seeks de-Christianization, in adamant favor of neopagan values and mores, the Culture of Death. Catholicism, nevertheless, when rightly reinforced by a real concern for orthodoxy, urges its believers in the very opposite direction contrary to the quite demonic Cultural Marxism of the prevailing intelligentsia, the secularist cognoscenti.
Furthermore, one ought to adamantly remember that Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium all sustain the Faith and do not ever contradict each other whenever theological orthodoxy is religiously sought. Nonetheless, eschatological speculation for many people, as with just discussing the weather, had once centered around the supposed significance of the year 2000 (as had been true of the year 1000); when nothing, once again, had happened, as was true for many, many centuries past of such supposed various anticipations, many now turn their rapt attention to Our Lady of Fatima and the coming centenary of October 13, 1917 as actually being the future chiliastic and conclusive big day. Not likely it will be.
It is deeply believed, by those who say they know about such things, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Theotokos, had stipulated positively that the world’s people were to be given just 100 more years, as a maximum set time, to morally and spiritually reform – or else. Or so, the oracular pronouncement, as commented on, seems to supposedly indicate. While this matter is not to be merely discounted off hand, however, the safer view of the matter is that placing absolutely strict time limits, in human timeframes, can be quite deceptive.
After all, Sr. Lucia herself was told by Our Lady of the Rosary, e. g., that she would remain on earth just “a little longer,” though waiting many decades, later, prior to her death. Interpretation can possibly result in a kind of misinterpretation by positing things or matters in human (read: mortal) terms of reference and not perceiving a rendered understanding on a suitably needed divine-cosmic scale of explanation. For as God Himself had said in the Old Testament, My ways are not man’s ways.
As always, if the so alleged End Times do, in fact, happen as supposedly predicted on October 13, 2017, then, so be it; if not, so be it also; let God’s will be done, of course, in either case. The presented private revelation at Fatima is just that, private revelation, not Church dogma. It is significant to appropriately note that it has not yet, in fact, been declared de fide. It is not, thus, essential to Catholic belief. The eyes of many of the faithful do turn with hope (or fear) as to what is to occur, meaning if the prediction as to End Times may come true (or not).
Other people, however, do place their chiliastic hope in the supposed coming of the now quite urgently wished-for sweet meteor of death (SMOD), not God, concerning their own sort of a quite peculiar form of millennialism, as it were. But, who is to say if God, meaning if it be verily in line with His Divine Will, would not, therefore, just so conveniently use the natural instrumentality of SMOD?
Of course, if the human race is still here after October 14, 2017, almost all of these very same people, whether believers in God or SMOD will, probably, just pathetically shrug their collective shoulders and seek out the next millennialist prediction of doom and gloom. It is not so much destructive of faith, rather, it unfortunately beleaguers or plagues naiveté by bespeaking of a zealous gullibility (or, perhaps, a philosophical desperation).
Conversely, efforts, e. g., to ever rationalize Christian mysteries, by supposedly demythologizing what is beyond man’s capacity to understand, poses the irrational absurdity of mere imperfect, sinful beings trying to comprehend the omnicompetent, omniscient mind of Almighty God. Orthodoxy on this matter is fully consistent with Apostolic Kerygma and an Incarnational Christology, not the rationalization of any dogmas, for such nominalism in religion absurdly tries to supposedly get at the “real” onion, until really nothing is left, after the nihilistic peeling of it. Immanentism, whether as historicity or otherwise, is to be fully denounced; it necessarily reeks of subjectivity, besides gross impiety.
It is no accident that the Athanasian Creed, Quicunque Vult is a statement of belief engrossed in the Trinitarian Dogma and Christology (an excerpt):
“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. …”
Catholicism is either a supremely incarnational religion, in so being of the absolutely prime centrality and core of its forever explicitly theocentric faith, or else it is just nothing.
Thus, there are no really new heresies, only various regurgitations thereof, that do naturally breed yet further heresies; no heresy, moreover, has ever stood in splendid isolation for very long; it attracts, like a magnet, other false ideas or opinions that then get generated and propagated.
To avoid this repetitive nonsense, which has gone on from age to age, it is then highly important and necessary, therefore, to have a proper religious understanding, profound appreciation, reasonable consideration, and theological comprehension of both proper soteriology and eschatology. If that is fully attained, it would then be easily possible to avoid any errant enthusiasms as to various prophecies based upon private revelation, not actual Church teachings officially promulgated de fide to the faithful.
Admittedly, it is a historical fact that many, if not necessarily most, of the Christians of the Apostolic Generation thought that they too would, in fact, actually live to see the Second Coming. Lives were lived, moreover, with that (what seemed to be) chiliastic expectation actively kept in mind, as if it were just a normal extension of 1st century AD Christian life.
Called the Apocalypse of St. John by Protestants, the Book of Revelation done by the Evangelist easily reinforced such thinking by, of course, providing a great deal of symbolic apocalyptic drama, in that John’s death, according to Catholicism, had fully ended the entire Era of Apostolic (read: theologically legitimate) Revelation and its historicity. No public, meaning truly Church approved revelation existed thereafter, except, e. g., in the necessarily, to be expected, heretical minds of many Protestants, of course, and their endlessly multiplying sects and cults scattered all around the entire world.
As but one selected instance among many, much ink has been spilled on just the numerous attempts to rigorously or otherwise decipher the meaning(s) of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Generation by generation, the end of the world has been expected, which has oddly created, in effect, a Weberian routinization of millennialist aspirations, as in seen in the Seventh Day Adventists cult.
Each age has been trying to also, thus, attribute, e. g., the definitive personification of the Antichrist to various actual historical persons; among a literal horde of notable contestants, one could so readily name: Nero, Attila the Hun, Frederick Barbarossa, Cesare Borgia, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Bill Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama, etc. It is a strange case of many being “called” such, but obviously, none satisfactorily or otherwise ever became or were, in set pointed fact, the Antichrist. End times happened, though not the actual, final, true and only predicted End Time itself.2
Millennialism, as a result, had become a true Christian tradition, flowing on and on century by century, with each episodic problematic prediction made yet more certainly and passionately than each previous revelation to better stir up, of course, the minds and hearts of the many deluded believers.3 However, an approach of thinking, which is held to be more common in the Catholic Church and, moreover, finds theological backing with the great St. Augustine, among many others, is that, e. g., the 1,000 year reign simply denotes the still ongoing age of the life of the Church, however long over time that may be.
Such a time, therefore, fully encompasses all that existed from the first establishment of the Church, meaning on Pentecost, and certainly lasts until the actual end of the world, as we know it, and the final return, the Parousia, of Christ, the expected, predicted, Day of the Lord. Any attempted mythologizing of Christianity is held in contempt, besides the fact that no Catholics are ever to be chiliastic believers in a literal divine kingdom on earth to be, e. g., supposedly lasting 1,000 years.
To the major essential point involved, Jesus Himself had said, in the New Testament, that only God the Father knows the exact time when the world is to end, not any idle speculations or predications made to the contrary, of course. (His human nature refused to vouchsafe divine knowledge He possessed.)
The stark impiety or, perhaps, irreverence, at least implicitly, with any sort of bold Delphic “predictionism” coming out of various and sundry, variegated and plentitudinous, private revelations (those not Church approved) usually then gets unnoticed; this is by those zealots eagerly pushing their alleged certainties as if, somehow or other, quite solemnly guaranteed by asseverated divine afflatus of the highest order.
With the above cited and more relatively recent case of Our Lady of Fatima, however, the discredit, if any, goes only to the many impassioned or enthusiastic exegetists who may have (not deliberately, one supposes) misunderstood or misinterpreted what was said. Part or major parts of a message can be garbled or “lost in translation” to merely mortal beings. Thus, the Holy Mother of God is completely innocent of any and all possible accusations of fraud. In any event, what generally goes by the name of millenarianism (or chiliasm) has been properly condemned, in fact, by the Catholic Church as being heretical; it is not, therefore, ever consistent with genuine Catholicism.
However, it needs to be properly noted that Protestants have often deliberately mischaracterized the Church’s moderate position as being amillennialism, a supposed view dedicated to accepted ignorance or, perhaps, an agnostic view. This is, in essence, absolutely false; for there is no such “proper view” of heresy, except to rightly condemn it. Catholicism is, in a sense, a “bioptic” theonomic faith requiring belief in both what is seen and unseen for practicing Catholics, besides acknowledging the existence of permanent mysteries; yet, with its correct balancing of faith and reason, it is extremely far from any kind of chiliastic fanaticism whatsoever.
However, much of the insane 16th century Anabaptist millennialism has been regaining ground among Christians, in about the last 100 years or so, because of substantial ignorance of the teachings of the Patristic Fathers, especially St. Jerome and St. Augustine, the Scholastics, the Doctors of the Church, and others who did knew better. Also, a spiritually unhealthy and escapist laxity of mind develops whenever people simply assume that truly diligent Christian effort is not so needed if, well, the End Times are, of course, supposedly near, which is just a false assumption, not much better than the sin of presumption.
Private prophecies should be greeted with skepticism, especially if unapproved by Church authorities (though, true, these days even certain Church authorities can be rightly suspect). Even if a worldwide “chastisement” may come, however, Church teachings tell the faithful that this is not ever equivalent to the Second Coming or End Times; one prophesized event should not, therefore, be wrongly confused or confounded with the other truly predicted event; a discernment of spirits is need as to such prophecies.
As ought to be so firmly known, Catholic orthodoxy, by definition, avoids all theological and religious extremes by ever properly and faithfully adhering, in reiteration, to Tradition, Scripture, and the true Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church.
And, among the primary touchstones of orthodoxy are such appropriately honored Church assemblies as the Council of Nicaea, Council of Chalcedon, and Council of Trent, not ever the latest, greatest hermeneutical phenomenology or exegetical existentialist pronouncements coming either out of fashion-conscious academia or the seminaries. Proclamations of the inherent righteousness of metaphysical order is what matters, not any cleverly semantic expositions ardently done by theologasters.
As expected, desperate times can usually lead to desperate thoughts, but desperation does not define truth nor, for that matter, basic eschatological logic as is known to Sancta Mater Ecclesia. If there is to be any requisite disbelief, one ought to easily doubt greatly that, e. g., the coming time of the pernicious Son of Perdition, Antichrist’s advent, is tremendously near; too much naïve credulity, as seen through many centuries, tends to very naturally breed heresies, as with the cited and evil Anabaptist fanaticism.
What is seriously troubling is that, based upon empirical evidences, this chiliastic attitude seems to be growing exponentially, from the 20th and, one suspects, well into the 21st century, among even many orthodox Catholics who really ought to know better.4 This has been greatly aided and abetted by the secularization of society and culture that has made the work of Satan much easier by psychologically and sociologically conditioning people to more readily believe in myth, magic, and superstition.
It can be interestingly noted that such positive attributes as human perfectibility and progress had once been routinely associated, in the minds and writings of members of many Protestant sects, with all of Christianity’s so positive development, especially because of the so-called Reformed Religion, and, by extension, with its helping with End Times’ fulfillment as such.5
Much of this thought was grounded in hope, which is fairly logical for Christians who seek to cooperate with the loving grace of God, not with God substitutes such as belief in a deified Progress or, perhaps, a terrenely divinized perfectibility. Of course, all these kinds of mentioned matters are really forms or modes of an often disguised idolatry made usually more mentally acceptable or, perhaps, palatable by an unfortunate belief in myth, magic, and superstition. In any event, clear linkages between the Catholic Church in America and the Confederacy should no longer, therefore, seem to be that very surprising.6
One of the main difficulties of what properly needs to be said, however, is that until the effective bulk of Roman Catholics realize that there is such a thing as an authentic Catholic culture that is necessarily in adamant opposition to the existing Western-secularist culture, any real hopes of intelligently covering such subjects, theologically speaking, as soteriology and eschatology becomes then problematic at best, absurd at worst.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis, preaching “ecological salvation,” and his followers, prelates and others, do enjoy attacking the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, by assaulting the foundational teachings of Holy Mother Church; and, one sees that none of this really bodes well, as an instance, for ensuring the appropriate ecclesiastical duty of helping to send souls toward glorious salvation, instead of to dark perdition, forever.
At a minimum, the Holy Pontiff’s modernist mocking of the Magisterium is readily seen to be plainly blasphemous and, most likely, implicitly sacrilegious as well; it does not advance the requisite and solemn, needed and fervent, soteriological interests, therefore, of the Church, of the Faith. All of this will eventually reflect against the Holy Mother of God as with, e. g., the typical Protestant belittling, disparaging, of the Holy Virgin.
And yet, as God can bring good out of evil, the chastisement of having a bad Pope is still within the realm of Divine Providence, for even persecution or tribulation is meant to stimulate faith as a loving Divine Mercy, for shocking people back to spiritual reality, for the yet providential redemption of souls; the real opposite of love is indifference, not hate. The Lord loves human beings more than enough to lovingly chastise them for directing their minds toward needed salvation, by manifesting how much He genuinely hates sin. Many a time, as Desmond Birch notes, the Hebrew people felt the hard rod of God upon their backs, and one can, also, usefully recall that Attila the Hun was actually called “the Scourge of God.”
Ironically, while the vast majority of Christians do scoff at private revelations, insanity’s advancement, in the contemporary world, has been normally spread by the too often presumed wondrous advantages of a progressive secularization and thoroughgoing rationalization of human life, not through any profound religious faith. Consequently, besides wanting to hold supposedly “value-neutral” opinions, fixations upon pragmatism, positivism, and materialism have so fostered belief in myth, magic and superstition.
G. K. Chesterton had well remarked on how people may cease to believe in God but that yet leads the vast majority to be still willing to believe in anything; few really become (pure) atheists, with, e. g., astrology and spiritualism, today, being stronger than ever. Once subjectivity becomes the assumed new objectivity, furthermore, insanity itself can then no longer be recognized for what it is, as with clearly insane beliefs in transsexualism/transgenderism.
And, without any doubt, society, thus, jumps from the proverbial frying pan directly into the fire by, fashionably, not wanting to be judgmental. This is important to understand because when the Church Militant is needfully resurgent, unlike during the unfortunate heretical tenure of Pope Francis, it would valiantly do battle, as against the Arians to fully defend the Divinity of Christ, athwart the Monophysites to affirm adamantly the Humanity of Christ, as was all guided by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Although there’s supposed to be about a billion Catholics in the entire world, only a small remnant have, in truth, both actually and amazingly kept intact the good and solid integrity of the Faith, meaning as to proper orthodox belief, contrary to a quite pervasively secularized society and culture. Nonetheless, as to public and private revelations, merited punishments as considered can, of course, come before, with the arrival of, or even after the Antichrist, the Man of Sin, as a predestined matter unto, of course, the true consummation of the world.
All this, of course, is still held to be completely regardless of supposed fashionable opinions, whether for or against the theological notion of redemption, for the truly Catholic approach toward valid soteriology conforms with the bedrock teachings regarding eschatological revelations; it could not be otherwise, of course.
For the right nature and just means of salvation are denied to those who seek ideologically provoked or provided ersatz wisdom as to correcting societal, cultural or, perhaps, entire civilizational “wrongs” by manifesting endless hatred, perpetual vindictiveness, and arrogant contempt that rejects Christian love, charity, and compassion as means to an end. Thus, for instance, no morally sane person should be still fighting the War Between the States, or go hunting down various people as being contemptible “neo-Confederates,” meaning those thought or said to be racists.
For love, not hate, is the solemn fulfillment of all Gospel truth, in that rejecting the Cross, concerning suffering and compassion, is to simultaneously reject Christ, besides discounting, e. g., the Blessed Virgin Mary, the true Mediatrix of Grace, as well.
That above noted and needed end or final teleological purpose of Christian aspirations then ought, in truly proper terms of Christianity, lead to the desired holiness and sanctification of souls, not ever PC thinking, the pagan ideal of multiculturalism, or Cultural Marxism. The correct soteriological orientation to be appropriately taken, as to any fundamental beliefs, is in spiritual preparation for the welcoming of the eschatological comprehension of spiritual reality.
Birch, in his already noted Trial, Tribulation and Triumph, presents mountainous refutations of the modern exegetical critics who wrongly seek to deny numerous kinds of traditional teachings by reformulating asserted historical theology to suit their own prejudices of a supposed “higher criticism.” Birch’s very orthodox understanding is in just and right accord with the traditional teachings of the Church, not any modernist or postmodernist speculations, most usually, thus, set to the contrary.
While secularists ought to be very afraid as to soteriological and eschatological matters of importance, good Christians should not, even concerning such matters as the End Times. For Pope John Paul II was, indeed, famous for proclaiming the true Gospel message regarding inordinate fear: “Be not afraid!” This was said, even though most people will not get to Heaven.7
This is so right necessary for religiously accepting the conclusion of what individual salvation is to direct appropriate attention toward, namely, the absolute wanted finality of all-in-all, the expected Parousia of the Christ. Such an event should be greeted with a desirable longing, not any truly absurd fear, though human nature being what it is, many do as ever fill their hearts with an unfortunate trepidation, anxiety, or foreboding of gloom and doom in attitude.
But, Christian joy and gladness should be the nature of the fulfillment of the properly desired finality of the highest meaning of Christianity, the absolute faith in Christ above all and any earthly concerns or worries of fallen (read: sinful) creatures in a fallen world, where heresy, impurity, profanation, sacrilege, and blasphemy are regularly celebrated.
Nothing less, both logically and theologically, will do. Nothing more, thereafter, should be anticipated, moreover, as to the expected deeply religious and highly pious fulfillment of both human and salvation history. Christology, furthermore, affirms that this is the will of God in that everything is to be properly concluded in, by, and through Jesus Christ, forever and ever and without any exceptions whatsoever.
Moreover, an appreciation of the subject of ontological theology should come to rightly reinforce the positive contentions and pious observations, made explicitly, in this present article.8 To insouciantly disbelieve all this, is to not just doubt Roman Catholicism, it is to firmly doubt the very basic spiritual revelation and integral doctrinal realization of Christianity itself. Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
Athanasius contra mundum!
Desmond A. Birch, Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before, During and After Antichrist
Fr. Livio Fanzaga, Wrath of God: The Days of the Antichrist
Fr. H. M. Feret, The Apocalypse Explained
Fr. Herman Kramer, The Book of Destiny
Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, The Antichrist
Blessed John Henry Newman, A Confederacy of Evil
Rev. Benjamín Martín Sánchez , Public and Private Prophecies About The Last Times.
- He was never convicted of anything, much less treason – President Andrew Johnson issued a blanket amnesty to cover the Confederate leaders, for he had greatly feared that the US Supreme Court would find Davis completely innocent, if he had ever been tried for treason. To the present day, in American history, moreover, the political doctrine of secession has not been declared unconstitutional, since this would then result in a rather anomalous ruling that the rather manifestly secessionist US Declaration of Independence was/is then also, by definition, clearly unconstitutional and illegal.
The integral logic is absolutely inexorable to the nth degree. Furthermore, the Southern Confederacy was never fighting to control the national/Federal government; it only legally and politically sought to have, therefore, its own justifiable independence, i. e., overt secession, from the Union, nothing else.
The Yankees wrongly fought to suppress the War for Southern Independence by calling it the War of the Rebellion, long before it got falsely called the American Civil War, a clear misnomer. A civil war means that two sides (or more) are fighting for the control of the very same central or national government for having the power in the same nation. The South, however, wanted only to be its own very independent nation, not to ever control or conquer the North, meaning in set terms of constitutional nationhood as a whole. Q. E. D.
Though he was regarded as a 19th century Liberal, Lord Acton, a Roman Catholic, supported the cause of the CSA. On the far Left, Karl Marx, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and other communists enthusiastically favored the Union cause; Abraham Lincoln, in very strong affirmation of this point, had offered a generalship to Garibaldi for him to come here and kill Southerners. Marx had, in fact, praised Lincoln unendingly and, furthermore, joyously called for the final extermination of every last (resisting) Southerner.
As power loves power (Machiavellian Rule # 1), Lincoln, being a thoroughly inconsistent Liberal tyrant, welcomed the Russian Fleet into the Port of New York, as, at that time, the very reactionary empire was itself quite busy brutally suppressing the Polish independence movement! For his own wanting to so ruthlessly exterminate the Confederacy, Lincoln is, thus, nearly always portrayed in the history books as a great progressive figure, not the vicious archreactionary he, in point of fact, really truly was.
One can insightfully read: Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists: Marxism in the Civil War by Walter D. Kennedy and Al Benson Jr. and Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know about Dishonest Abe by Thomas J Dilorenzo and his revealing book, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. Also, useful study can be made of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War by H. W. Crocker III and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
- Of course, one can rather insightfully say that, in a certain sense, “worlds” were ended, though not the whole world, as in how, e. g., Napoleon had delegitimized the notion of royalty by also, ironically, making himself royal: Emperor Napoleon the First, after all, had then audaciously self-crowned himself as to a French imperium. The world of powerful monarchical establishments, and especially after World War I, had never really recuperated and, finally, bit the dust; this is because the Napoleonic profanation openly laid bare just how far rabid secularization had clearly undermined and rotted the true core of a Western civilization that was once proudly called Christendom.
The once sacred institution of monarchy, from that Napoleonic time on through the 19th century and into the early 20th century, never ever really recovered from such abusive political and gross ideological sacrilege. So, the Emperor was, in truth, definitely a destroyer of a world, though not all of the entire world of humanity itself.
- There is, in fact, a very tremendous and still growing entire body of literature on the subject. One can notably consult many (non-Catholic) sources: there is Norman Cohn’s still classic The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages, and his Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith; Millennialism And Social Theory by Gary North, Millennialism: The Two Major Views by Charles L. Feinberg, and Loraine Boettner‘s The Millennium; also, Ancient Jewish and Early Christian Millennialism by James D. Tabor, Christian Millennium by Conner Kevin, and Millennialism, Scripture, and Tradition by Eugene V. Gallagher.
Catholic views would cover: Eschatological Fact and Fiction: Catholicism and Dispensationalism Compared by Carl E. Olson and his Will Catholics Be “Left Behind”?; Fr. H. M. Feret’s The Apocalypse Explained, Michael Barber’s Coming Soon: Unlocking the Book of Revelation and Applying Its Lessons Today and, of course, Desmond A. Birch’s Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before, During and After Antichrist.
- See, once again: Desmond Birch’s Trial, Tribulation & Triumph.
- It may be passing curious that neither John Passmore’s The Perfectibility of Man (1970) nor Robert Nisbet’s History of the Idea of Progress covers either eschatology or soteriology explicitly, as a sure sign of the secularist orientation of modern people. Yet, both had then included critical substantive reviews of Christianity, as to and within their chosen subjects, in their cited respective books on perfectibility and progress, which, also, illustrated still definite Christian historical input, as to these chosen specific themes.
If truth be told, moreover, affluence, materialism, and, especially in the modern age, democracy all do combine to help destroy faith and morals too, as a realization of societal and cultural secularization, which breeds neopaganism and the then concomitant lusts for reprimitivization and rebarbarization.
This then comes about, therefore, in a world pervaded by myth, magic, and superstition, so glorified as enlightenment, and acts as, thus, the true relativistic foundation for the ever nihilistic Open Society of “liberated” individuals. And, upon cognitive reflection, it could not be otherwise.
- If further related research might be wanted, see: http://tradcatknight.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-catholic-church-and-confederate.html; http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2007-01150rebels_in_rome.htm; http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/catholic-church; http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1070; on an interesting select bit of trivia, see also: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/07/11/no-the-jesuits-didnt-kill-abraham-lincoln/
- Regardless of the heretic Origen’s 3rd century notion of a supposed ultimate reconciliation of all souls with God, the alleged final apocatastasis, even Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved? is just a fancy versioning of this rather ancient heresy done for (susceptible) modern audiences. It is established dogma of the Church, however, that both Hell (Gehenna) and Purgatory are real places that do, in fact, contain souls, the former only concerns the eternally damned souls. As Jesus had said: “Many are called but few are chosen.” This ever argues most severely against any supposed universal salvation notion, as if God is really an all-forgiving Santa Claus figure just merrily residing somewhere in the sky.