"History is littered with ideas used as weapons against the Catholic Church. Despite the best efforts of those who wielded these ideas ethnically, politically, theologically, culturally, the Bride of Christ survives. And more than survives. With patient, loving, and courageous zeal she converts her detractors. Those who don’t convert to the sweet yoke of Christ simply become footnotes of history, but the Catholic Church remains."
This week our dear friend and Catholic Priest, Fr. James Zettel, writes on the past, present, and future of the Catholic Church and Her faithful.
"Ethnically: In the weeks following Pentecost, the Jewish leaders had the Apostles whipped and sternly warned not to preach in the name of Christ. These leaders could not see the broadened horizon ushered in by Jesus; faith is no longer localized in Judaism. Every person from every race, land or language is invited to follow Christ in the Catholic Church. The lone voice of Gamaliel issued caution, “Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavour is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39). Today, where are those who whipped the Apostles?
Politically: The next three centuries would be a period of intermittent persecution. Often of suppression of public worship, a seizure of property, imprisonment or death. The full might of the Roman Empire seemed to be unstoppable. Where is the Roman Empire today?
Theologically: In the 4th century the greatest internal struggle to date affected the Church. The Arian heresy – which denied the divinity of the Son, and presented Christ as a mere man – wreaked havoc on the faith of many. St. Jerome even pondered aloud, "The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian." Yet, despite hardship, the Church consistently proclaimed the authentic identity of Jesus. Where are the Arians today?
Culturally: In the 18th century under leadership Maximilien de Robespierre, thousands of priests, nuns, and faithful Catholics were guillotined in France. They perished so that a new era of fraternity, equality and liberty could be born (which is one of history’s darkly comic ironies). The French government imposed an eight-day work week to efface the Biblical rhythm of Creation. Robespierre and the Revolutionaries even had Notre Dame Cathedral installed with a statue of the Goddess of Reason to adorn the high altar. This was to be the end of Christianity, a rebirth of Europe from scratch. Yet, where is Robespierre today?
Today: In the recent decades we have experienced the often well-meaning, but ultimately flawed effects of the Sexual Revolution and dogmatic Political Correctness. By the promotion of
abortion, contraception, sexual licence, gender theory, and limited freedom of speech, traditional morality is meant to collapse. The Church’s teaching about chastity and liberty in Christ is intended to become obsolete and laughable, a thing of derision in culture, education, politics and daily life. Despite this, rust is already forming on these weapons. Depression, divorce, infidelities, demographic implosion, sexual addiction, isolation from our bodies, distrust of political institutions is the norm. Just as every other false ideology has eventually become historical detritus, I expect this one to go the same way.
You can save yourself a lot of hassle and frustration by getting on the right side of history now. I’m going to stake my life on the belief that the Catholic Church will weather the current battle, and each future battle: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)."